BoI, Bayelsa Provide N2b to Fund SMEs
By Dipo Olowookere
The sum of N2 billion has been earmarked by the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bayelsa State government to support entrepreneurs in the state.
According to the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, the initiative is to boost the economic growth of the state.
He said the N2 billion funding would be used to help the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state.
The Governor said the partnership comes at a time when his administration is making efforts to create a N10 billion entrepreneurship development fund to be managed by the ministry of industry, trade and investment.
He noted that the fund will be geared towards supporting businesses and lots of initiatives in the state’s fashion industry.
“This is why the government, among other programmes created a micro finance bank for the first time to address challenges of funding.
“We believe that at the end, it is the small scale businesses that will drive industrialization in Nigeria,” Mr Dickson said.
The Governor thanked the BoI and its Acting Managing Director, Mr Waheed Olagunju, “for believing in Bayelsa.”
“You have always been available to lend support to encourage our people. This state needs support and I am glad BoI is showing the way and we will take this partnership to all federal agencies who have the capacity to work with us to create wealth and employment opportunities in Nigeria,” he said further.
The Governor promised that there would be similar initiatives with other lenders and players in the industry to make up with the N10 billion entrepreneurship fund.
In his remarks, the BoI boss promised that the fund would be given only to people after going through a rigorous capacity building programme organised by development centres of the Pan African University in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Institute in Bayelsa and entrepreneurship development centres in the state.