President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday commended the board and management of the Bank of Industry (BoI) for contributing to the growth and industrialisation of Nigeria.
Buhari made the commendation when he unveiled the bank’s second edifice in Abuja. He said the structure would boost BoI’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) potential.
That came as BoI said it had raised about $4 billion from over 100 international banks/investors in over 20 countries within the past four years. The bank revealed that it was also working to increase the figure to about $10 billion within the next few years.
Buhari pointed out that the development finance institution had disbursed over N1.4 trillion to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) at single-digit interest rates. This helped in making access to credit easier and affordable for Nigerians as well as supporting the diversification agenda.
Buhari addressed the gathering via video conferencing. Dignitaries physically present at the unveiling of the BoI edifice included Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Chairman of BoI, Mallam Aliyu AbdulRahman Dikko; and the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, as well as development partners.
The president expressed optimism that with the raising of a €700 million Eurobond, the BoI would be able to provide more funding for the growth of businesses in the country.
He said, “I am particularly impressed that this world-class building will finance internally generated revenue of the bank. The BoI has continued to successfully execute its mandate as a policy institution of the federal government. Through the Bank of Industry, this government extended the single-digit interest rate loans.
“As part of this mandate, the Bank of Industry disbursed over N1.4 trillion to micro, SMEs, and large enterprises, creating over nine million jobs from its inception.”
Adebayo said BoI had added significant value to the federal government’s industrialisation agenda over the past 62 years and thanked the president and other arms of government for their confidence in the bank.
Buhari said the DFI had been appointed as the implementation partner for several laudable projects towards alleviating poverty, job creation as well as ensuring affordable financing opportunities for Nigerian enterprises.
Emefiele, in his remarks, said all the credit must be given to Buhari for setting the pace for the country’s development and economic diversification as well as the restructuring of the base of the Nigerian economy.
He noted BoI was jointly owned by the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance, stressing that the central bank has been working closely with the DFI to ensure that it achieves its mandate.
The CBN governor said, “Since 2014 when I assumed leadership at the CBN, we have ensured that we work closely with BoI to ensure that their core mandate, which is to provide finance for the development of not just the Small and Medium Enterprises but also our large corporate.
“That they are able to complement our efforts in achieving the vision that has been set by President Muhammadu Buhari that says that we should work together to make sure we make finance available to Nigerians and not just make finance available to Nigerians but also make this finance available at affordable interest rates.”
He added, “I will continue to give the credit to the president for setting the vision for the development and diversification of the Nigerian economy. Not just development and diversification but also ensuring that we really work hard to restructure the base of the Nigerian economy.
“From being an import-dependent economy to an economy that is self-sufficient and economy that develops itself and ensures that we reduce imports and begin to export and produce.”
Emefiele said Nigeria has the potential to grow not just its economy but also the economy of other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The BoI managing director disclosed that the bank had raised about $4 billion from over 100 international banks/investors in over 20 countries within the past four years, adding that most of the funds ended up as part of the country’s foreign reserve.
While thanking Buhari for the renewal of his tenure and that of the chairman for another five years, Pitan assured that the board would work harder and, “complete our succession planning project, which is ongoing with our consultants, Price Waterhouse.”
Pitan said through the president’s support, BoI had been able to approach the international capital market and conclude various funding transactions, including a $750 million syndicated medium-term loan in 2018, which had now been fully paid; €1billion syndicated loan in March 2020; $1billion syndicated loan in December 2020; and recently the €750million Senior Eurobond (the first by any African national DFI) in February 2022, whose sovereign guarantee was also approved by the National Assembly.
The BoI MD added that these funds had significantly improved the bank’s capacity to continually support Nigeria’s real sector.
On his part, Dikko said the commissioning was an important milestone for the bank, as it signifies the culmination of many years of tenacity and determination to ensure that the edifice was completed and put to judicious use.
He said judging by the increasing profile of the bank and its operations, the new building should open new business frontiers for the country in general.
According to him, for decades, BoI has delivered appreciable results on its mandate towards transforming the country’s industrial sector by providing affordable and long-term financing across key segments and sectors of the economy.
The BoI chairman said in the last five years alone, working with strategic partners, the bank had supported over 3.2 million MSMEs as well as large enterprises, and created over 7.1 million direct and indirect jobs in the process.
He added that the bank’s total assets also grew from N683 billion in 2016 to N1.7 trillion in 2021.
He said, “BOI has consistently aligned its corporate strategy with the strategic objectives of the federal government, especially as it relates to industrialisation and job creation; from Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan to Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; and now to the newly introduced National Development Plan.
“To that end, the bank has been a reliable partner in managing several intervention projects and funds targeted towards entrepreneurship, economic rehabilitation, and poverty eradication on behalf of the federal government.”
The BoI Tower 2 is a state-of-the-art innovative building with 12 lettable floors with unique features, which include an energy-conserving smart lighting system that is motion-activated, a backup power system with special panels that are synchronised to deliver power according to demand and high diesel efficiency.
The facility is also built with a building management system, which monitors, supervises, controls, and reports on smart building technology systems, including generators, CCTVs, and other gadgets.
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