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BOI pledges more funds for Aba industrialists

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The Bank of Industry, in a bid to boost the capacity of the manufacturing sector, has promised to provide more funds to manufacturers based in Aba, Abia State.

The Acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, stated this during the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic for viable enterprises organised by the Federal Government in collaboration with the Abia State Government.

He said in a bid to ensure more access to its loan facilities, the bank had engaged with the various Aba-based manufacturers on how to develop bankable projects.

Olagunju told the manufacturers that in order to easily access loans, a business owner must display some virtues such as character, capacity and commitment.

He added that skills, requisite knowledge and responsibility were also needed to ensure that the person was committed to the business.

While identifying the issue of collateral as a major constraint to accessing loans by most businessmen in the country, the BoI boss noted that the government had taken steps to make businesses viable by providing relevant tips to break the barriers of difficulties faced by some in accessing loans.

He said, “The first aim starts with marketing; how do manufacturers market their businesses? Hence, the government has been coming up with procurement policies that are in favour of SMEs.

“It has been done in other parts of the world. I think that we are evolving the same thing in Nigeria so that the government patronises MSMSEs so that what happened in the past does not happen again.

“We, however, need to change our taste for foreign goods. We should consume what we produce and not only consuming what we do not produce. But now that we have foreign exchange crunch, we are being forced to leave foreign goods more and more. So let us pray and hope that the attitude sticks with us.”

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The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, expressed happiness that the Federal Government had finally recognised Aba as the hub of manufacturing not only in Nigeria but in sub-Saharan Africa.

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