By Haruna Salami
Senate Committee on Industry has gotten the commitment of Bank of Industry, BOI that the bank will give more attention to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME in its loan facilities.
Chairman if the Committee, Abiru Mikhail Tokumbo stated this while speaking with journalists after the budget defence of the bank on Wednesday at the National Assembly.
“I think that part of the reassurance we have gotten from BOI today is the fact that, in spite of the critical role the are playing in the economy, like we all know, they have been supporting the real sector, the engine of growth of the economy, but they must do more for MSME.
“They have been supporting them, no doubt, but equally what we are prevailing on them to do is to also intensify their efforts in the area of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME.
Senator Abiru acknowledge the fact that there are concerns, over the performance to that sector, adding “you can see that they have fallen a bite behind in terms of what they have budgeted to that sector”.
He said part of their constraint is the rate of what they call “high loss norms” in that particular sector which they are trying to find a solution to. That is what we are insisting on them to ensure as we going into 2022.
“For an economy like ours, coming out of recession and the backlash of Covid-19, the MSME need that support. They have to look for whatever way to ‘derisk’ the challenges that exist in that particular sector”.
Earlier, Senator Francis Fadshunsi, during budget defence said the Committee has gone through out the country and seen the efforts of BOI in the Free Trade Zones, but regretted that MSME which are the mainstay of the nation’s economy, that will allow the youth to remain in the villages deserve better attention.
Fadshunsi gave the example of China which is renown for giving special attention to MSME and the resultant economic benefits.
The Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan assured the Senate Committee that the bank will do all it can to increase allocation to MSME.
Pitan said in sectorial allocation, food processing, gas and petrochemical companies the priority position of the bank.
The MD alleyed the fear of the lawmakers on the risks associated with foreign currencies due to the unstable naira exchange when he said “all foreign currencies BOI raises are transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria the same day, so the risk is borne by the CBN”.