BOI Budgets N22 billion to Push Women Entrepreneurship
Olukayode Pitan, the MD of Bank of Industry stated that in 2017, a total disbursement of approximately N20.5 billion was granted to aid businesses owned by women in Nigeria, and that the planned disbursement of 22 million would break the previous record.
The BOI Executive Director, SMEs, Waheed Olagunju, during an event to celebrate the International Women’s Day, said, “We are looking at ways to support businesses promoted by women, businesses owned by women, businesses led by women in terms of management or businesses that generate huge employment for women. Let us know how best BOI can assist you. We are receptive and we know many of you have travelled wide both within and outside the country. We want to know the best practices in other parts of the world. Let us know how best we can assist women in Nigeria. We have seen what other women have done in terms of managing enterprises and that is why we believe women can do a lot more both in the private and public sector in terms of leading this country to the promised land.”
He also remarked that women account for over 50 per cent of world population, concluding that there is no way Nigeria can grow its GDP at double digits without having all hands on board.
Olagunju pointed out that to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, women have pivotal roles to play and it is only when they have the means to perform better than what they are currently doing is the only way to achieve these SDGs, double digit and increase per capita income.
Lagos Grants N4.9b Loans to 5,800 SMES
The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akin Oyebode, has disclosed that Lagos State government has granted N4.9 billion loans to 5,800 SMEs through the LSETF, which Governor Akinwunmi Ambode created to boost the businesses of unemployed residents in the state. The number of beneficiaries are estimated to reach 15, 000 at the end of the year. The city is expected to see an improvement in the later years, if businesses key into our innovation-driven enterprise framework-Lagos Ennovate, which is a set of programmes designed to support innovation-driven start-ups in the state.
However, certain criteria that must be met before any business could access the loan. The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akin Oyebode, explained further, “we are looking for credibility and clarity. We are looking for those who have not misrepresented their performance; people who know exactly what they are using the loan for, without inflating the cost of goods or the services that they want to pay for.
Our goal is to make Lagos the destination for innovation and technology in Africa.
Already, we have raised $1 million from the United Nations Development Programme to drive this,” he said. “We are looking people who, when we go and do credit checks, they have not been owing banks without repaying, they have not issued bounced cheques or lied about where they live or the size of their businesses. We are not asking anybody to bring their grandmother’s hair, or a collateral. But we are only asking for, is integrity. This is a tax payers’ funded project, so we need to show that we are looking at the right things to ensure that we get value from it,”
He further revealed that thousands of people have benefitted from the loan and that the numbers would be increasing.