The Bank of Industry says it has disbursed N497m to Small and Medium Enterprises in Niger state.
The Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, stated this at the inauguration of the bank’s office in Minna.
He explained that the BoI had approved N44m for the deployment of off-grid micro system in Bisanti, a community in the state, adding that the bank had identified SME clusters in areas such as shea butter, yam, soya bean, rice, sugar cane, melon, fish, groundnut and cassava.
He said the deployment of solar-based technology in the state would help to provide energy need for the industry, particularly the segment that had no access to the national grid.
Explaining the objective of the intervention, Olaoluwa stated that the move would help to promote job creation and rapid industrialisation.
The bank CEO also urged the state entrepreneurs to avail themselves of the services of the 23 business development service providers established in the North Central geopolitical zones for the packaging of bankable business proposals.
Giving an update on the MSME fund, which is jointly funded by the development finance institution and Kogi State, Olaoluwa noted that while the bank had received 263 loan applications amounting to N2.5bn, about 116 loan applications totalling N497m were approved.
He said, “In terms of developmental impact, an estimated 615 direct and 683 indirect jobs totalling 1,298 jobs have been created thus far.
“The most valued assets of Niger State are its fertile land and water resources, being largely an agrarian state with agricultural products like sheanut, soya bean, groundnut, yam, cassava, rice, cotton, sesame seed, among others.
“The State is also blessed with mineral resources such as gold, copper, iron, silica, clay, marble, talc, feldspar, lead, kaolin, cassiterite, mica and granite.
“Niger State therefore has a great potential to support a wide range of agro-processing and other industries that can spur sustainable industrialisation and accelerated Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development.”
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