By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo
A new branch of the Bank of Industry has been opened the Akwa Ibom with a business office on the third floor of the 21-storey Dakkada Towers in Uyo.
This is even as Governor Umo Eno, has charged the management of the Bank to approve loans only on the basis of who meets the criteria not on recommendations from top government functionaries.
At the event yesterday in Uyo Eno described the event as the most businesslike event since the inception of his administration.
The Governor said it marked a step away from politics and an affirmation of his resolve to fulfill his campaign promise to support Small and Medium scale Enterprises, SMEs, as a sure economic booster.
Further expressing delight over the advent of the BOI in the state, the Governor said the advent of the BOI in the state was a bold move towards realizing the lofty goals of the second and fourth aspirations of the ARISE Agenda, which includes job creation, economic prosperity and the promotion of the spirit of industry and entrepreneurship in Akwa Ibom people as well as sustainable economic growth.
The Governor said receiving them at the State Executive Council Chamber and accommodating them at the treasured Dakkada Towers in heart of the state capital, were indications of the premium his administration places on entrepreneurship development, while thanking the Management of BOI for partnering the state government in that regard.
He lauded the Bank of Industry’s role as a premium bank that is dedicated to the task of transforming Nigeria’s industrial sector, support SMEs and large enterprises with low interest and long term loans, affirming the imperative of SMEs as the engines of economic and sustainable growth all over the world and the availability of single digit interest loans, which the Bank of Industry provides, as catalyst for growth and development across the nation.
“As a business man, one of the greatest challenges we had on our balance sheets is interest of loans which sometimes overrides everything you’re doing and we had to struggle so hard.
“So having gone through that path, I knew that one of the best things we could do to encourage enterprise in our state and support our young people would be to partner with them and make sure they have a source of good funding.” The Governor said.
He assured that he would not in any way put unnecessary pressure on the office of the managing director and his team in the state.
“Let me assure you the MD and your management team that i will not bring pressure to your office, and please do not take recommendations from people, from any quarter that do not meet your criteria, because the money that Iam going to give today is Akwa Ibom investment.
“You know that the grant we are giving you, you will refund our money, so please Iam telling you upfront, don’t give loan to anybody that does not meet your criteria. That is the truth I want to say and iam saying it upfront. I will not recommend anyone to you and don’t listen to anyone.
“In the state today I am the governor, so if I tell that i will not put pressure on you, no one should put pressure on you, make sur
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOI, Dr. Olasupo Olusi, lauded the Governor’s genuine commitment to promoting entrepreneurship in the state.
Olusi said that such commitment was obvious in governor’s expressions at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, at the United Arab Emirate held in December 2023 where the bank was compelled to bring it’s operations closer to Akwa Ibom people by establishing its 32nd Nigeria branch in the State.
The Managing Director maintained that BOI was delighted to partner Akwa Ibom State Government in it operations and assured of support to small, medium and large scale enterprises with facilities that cannot be obtainable in the regular commercial banking system.
“Our mandate to create development impact is in harmony with the economic blueprints of the Akwa Ibom State governor, to transform the social, economic landscapes of Akwa Ibom through sustainable economic growth and job creation and also in furtherance of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
“In recognition of this, BOI is poised to support private investment that will bring about transformation in agriculture, Oil and Gas, aviation as well as in tourism and hospitality industry.” He said.
He expressed appreciation for the enablement provided by the governor so far, in providing a befitting location and other waivers to enhance its initial operations.