The Edo State Government and the Bank of Industry (BOI) have unveiled a Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development fund worth N2bn to support entrepreneurs in the state.
The fund was launched during a citizens’ engagement session organized by the Edo State Skills Development Agency, also known as EdoJobs, held at the Government House, in Benin City.
Speaking at the event, Governor Godwin Obaseki said, “The Bank of Industry (BOI), which is a reliable partner, is here today to launch the MSME fund. The initial amount is N2 billion. Edo State Government provided N1 billion, while BOI provided the other N1 billion, making it N2 billion, with an attractive interest rate.”
“In addition, we have a N165 million fund, as part of the first tranche from the Edo State Government. It will be made available to small businesses, which are currently domiciled in our production hub, to support and encourage them to grow their businesses.
“BOI has the capacity and resources to support this kind of programme. From this N2 billion fund, we estimate that we can impact as many as 50,000 businesses in Edo State. We have other facilities with other institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is a start-up fund, as we expect it to continue to grow: If you start with N50,000, now and when you do well tomorrow in your business, you will need N200,000.
Borrowing is part of business, provided you continue to grow,” the governor stated.
The Governor assured that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration remains committed to improving the livelihoods of the people and creating opportunities for the youths to thrive.
He stated: “We have continued to create opportunities for Edo youths as our administration is open, transparent and competent in all we do. We urge Edo people to trust us, as all the opportunities that we present are real, and life-transforming for Edo people.”
On his part, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said that “in a quest to grow and develop MSME businesses in the country, the Bank has resolved to continue to collaborate with existing enterprises, as well as reputable local and international partners.
“This MSME fund is aimed at providing business loans to enterprises located within the state, while the second fund is the N165m Edo Production Hub Fund, financed by the Edo State Government. The Edo Production Hub Fund is managed by the BOI and is to support businesses located within the state-owned production hub.”
Later, the governor and his team, as well as his quests were was also taken on a guided tour of the Edo Production Hub. They also commissioned the new Bank of Industry Building in Benin City, the Edo State capital.