Olukayode Pitan, managing director of the Bank of Industry said the Agency is discussing with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria(SMEDAN)and the Nigeria Export and Import Bank(NEXIM) for a possible way of de-risking small scale businesses for easier loan access.
Pitan disclosed also that the bank is working closely with the mentioned agencies to embark on SMEs rating, and how to ensure easier credit lending to those that meet risk-acceptance criteria for loan access from the Bank.
Pitan who gave the information while he played host to the Presidential Council on the Ease of Doing Business Secretariat in Abuja said there are ongoing efforts to ensure easier access of credits for small scale businesses, while considering credit behaviour of small and medium enterprises.
He said, “We are working with SMEDAN and NEXIM to have a credit registry data. Once we have that kind of data by end of the year, it would help us to monitor credit behaviour of people and improve access of credit to them.”
He pointed out further that, “People say accessing credit from the BoI is difficult because we are asking of Bank guarantees. Yes, we do ask for Bank guarantees, but it is not in all our credits that we ask for such guarantees”
Clarifying further, he said, “There are some facilities that all you require are two guarantees, such as the programme we have for young graduates. What is important is that we want Nigerians to know that borrowing from the Bank of Industry is not to access your own share of the National cake. BoI has been there for 59 years and must be handled sustainably”
Speaking further on BoI stance on collateral registry, Pitan said,”We have registered, but there are some transactions we are currently working on. We want to make credit access easier for small scale business. A lot of collateral registries in the country, because people are not registered as such. But we are working with SMEDAN and NEXIM to ensure proper data profiling of people who come for credits”
In her earlier remarks, Jumoke Oduwole, who heads the Secretariat for the Presidential Council on the ease of doing business said, “For the past eighteen months, we have been having 60 days National Action Plan, which are interventions we use in harnessing our strategic initiatives with MDAs of the governments.”
She remarked that, “We worked with about 40 MDAs that we worked with and 8 strategic areas we focused on high impact on business climate.”
Also, she pointed out that, “We worked on about 8 indicators, which also focused on home grown Nigerian indicators that address concerns of business challenges. We also worked on World Bank indicators about seven of them last year, from starting a business, and which while His Excellency the Vice President went on the spot assessment identified some key concerns.”
She said, “The intra-movement of goods from North to South and the movement of goods within and outside the Ports, whether the freight issues, and regulatory environment were also being addressed”.
HARRISON EDEH, Abuja