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Bank Of Industry Empowers Four Million MSMEs In Five Years

Oluwasina Phillip

The Bank of Industry has financed over four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with $400m within the last five years.

The $400m which is contained in the BoI Growth Platform’s Aid for Productivity Report translates to over N152bn.

The Report, which was launched on Monday in Abuja by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the MSMEs were funded across seven intervention programmes.

The launch event brings together key decision-makers, including public-sector leaders and policy makers, development partners, the business community, financial institutions, and the technology start-up ecosystem.

Some of them are the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Niyi Adebayo, the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry Mr Olukayode Pitan, and the Chairman of the BoI Board Aliyu Dikko among others

The Report which was co-authored by BoI Executive Director, Toyin Adedeji and Uzoma Nwagba (Chief Operating Officer of the Growth Platform) chronicles the development, impact and future of BoI’s growth platform.

Osinbajo while speaking at the event commended the Bank for building one of the biggest human and technological infrastructure in Africa.

The technological infrastructure, according to him, is being used to drive multiple large-scale intervention programmes for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

He listed some of the programmes as Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme including TraderMoni, MSME Survival Fund, World Bank NG-CARES, and North East Rehabilitation Fund among others.

The VP said that the Growth Platform’s vision is to catalyse sustainable economic growth in emerging markets by empowering MSMEs with capital, skills, and critical resources.

According to him, the Growth Platform offers a seamless process, technology and field infrastructure for funds delivery to Micro, Small and Medium businesses.

With the power of biometrics, BVN as digital collateral, mobile data capture, mobile wallets, and a 22,000 strong agent network, Osinbajo said the Growth Platform is able to properly target, document, profile, and deliver social intervention to MSMEs at scale.

Osibanjo said, “The Growth Platform has been a powerful generator of opportunities for young entrepreneurs, for example, people aged 18 years to 35 years make up 57 per cent of GEEP’s beneficiaries. It has also tackled the problem of women’s financial exclusion head-on and today, the large majority of its beneficiaries are female.

“Through GEEP alone, BOI has formalized and disbursed capital to over one million women-led MSMEs and helped over 150,000 of them open bank accounts for the first time.”

The BOI MD in his comments at the event, stated that the bank’s approach to financial inclusion is having significant impact in the economy in terms of job creation and poverty reduction.

Pitan explained that the platform is targeted at unlocking the productivity of small businesses, adding that the initiative has a programme portfolio of $472m currently at the BOI.

He said, ‘’The good of the Growth Platform is to digitize millions of MSMEs and provide tranches of capital to them, this enables them to raise their productivity and incomes, strengthen their sustainability and contribute to job creation and economic development. The focus of the Growth Platform is a fundamental shift from Aid for Survival to Aid for Productivity.

He noted that the BOI is ambitious to onboard 25 million MSMEs beneficiaries come 2025.

Earlier, the Director, MSMEs desk at the BOI, Toyin Adeniji, said that drawing on its existing database  and its infrastructure that enables it to communicate continually and dynamically with MSMEs, the Growth Platform has been able to respond to the health crises in creative ways.

She said as part of its economic Sustainability Plan, Nigeria launched the MSME Survival Fund, a $187m fund to support MSMES and their staff through payroll support.

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