The Bank of Industry (BOI) has stated that its disbursement to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country has hit over N7 billion under its social intervention programmes and Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme.
According to the bank, efforts are underway to improve interventions as it is imperative to ensure that flow of money and capital reaches the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) where over 80 per cent of MSMEs occupy.
Indeed, the Development Finance Institution (DFI) added that it was partnering with microfinance institutions as they play key roles in bridging the financing gap experienced by micro enterprises in the Nigerian economy, noting that the bank is intensifying its efforts by aligning with the MFBs to promote financial inclusion and deepen its activities to achieve economic growth and development.
The Managing Director, BOI, Oulakyode Pitan, during an interactive technical session with MFBs, pointed out that the bank had so far disbursed about N3 billion to over 3,000 micro enterprises under its BOP scheme, adding that the bank has also been mandated by the Federal Government to execute the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) where over N4 billion has been disbursed to qualified beneficiaries in the country.
”This is where the micro finance institutions function as enablers to bridging this financing gap. In countries that have vibrant MSME segments, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) have been major contributors to reducing poverty levels and increasing the earning powers of micro enterprises. Nigeria is not an exception as the activities of Nigerian MFIs including the licensed MFBs have led to reductions in the country’s number of unbanked adults, ’’he said.
In his words, ‘‘The MFBs here in attendance would have a better understanding of BOI’s position in driving micro enterprise development in Nigeria. We MFBs would better understand BOI’s micro-credit programmes and how they can participate in the execution of these programmes. BOI would recognize the challenges experienced by interested MFBs for the programme and both institutions would have reached common grounds on how to increase the participation of Nigerian MFBs on the BOI programmes.’’
He however stated that there is more work to be done to achieve the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate to reduce financial exclusion rate to 20 per cent by 2020, stressing that the DFI is fully keyed into this financial inclusion mandate and has set up structures and processes to achieve the mandate.