The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the Bank of Industry (BOI) has empowered over four million micro, small and medium enterprises ( MSMEs) in Nigeria.
Osinbajo said this on Monday in Abuja during the Aid For Productivity Report launch.
According to him, the growth platform is funded across seven intervention programmes.
He noted that the technological infrastructure was 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 vice president said that the Growth Platform’s vision was 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 MSME.
He added that with the power of biometrics, BVN as digital collateral, mobile data capture, mobile wallets, and a 22,000 strong agent network, the Growth Platform was able to properly target, document, profile and deliver social intervention to MSMEs.
Osinbajo 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 formalised and disbursed capital to over one million women-led MSMEs and helped over 150,000 of them open bank accounts for the first time.”
Osinbajo commended the bank for building one of the biggest human and technological infrastructure in Africa.
In his remark, BOI Managing Director, Mr Olukayode Pitan, said that the bank’s approach to financial inclusion had significant impact in the economy in terms of job creation and poverty reduction.
Pitan explained that the platform was 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 digitise millions of MSMEs and provide tranches of capital to them.
“This would enable 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, however said that the BOI ambition was to onboard 10 million MSMEs beneficiaries by 2025.
Earlier, the Director, MSMEs desk at the BOI, Toyin Adeniji, said that drawing on its existing database and its infrastructure had enabled it to communicate continually and dynamically with MSMEs.
She added that the Growth Platform has been able to respond to the health crises in creative ways.
According to her, in the last five years, MSMEs has 76 per cent of the country’s labour employed.
She noted that Nigeria launched the MSME Survival Fund, a $187m fund to support MSMES and their staff through payroll support as part of its economic Sustainability Plan.
She, however , said that the growth platform along with its partners could reach 10million beneficiaries by 2025.
NAN reports that the launch event brought together key decision-makers, including public sector leaders and policy makers, development partners, the business community, financial institutions and the technology start-up ecosystem.
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. (NAN)