By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Managing Director of the Bank Of Industry, (BOI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, on Tuesday disclosed that the bank has disbursed N18 billion intervention fund to small and medium-scale industries in Oyo State
The BOI Managing Director stated this in Ibadan during a courtesy visit with the management team of the bank on Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his office at the Oyo State Secretariat.
Mr Pitan declared that the N18billion intervention fund was
meant to enhance the expansion of the small and medium-scale industries in Oyo State as the state was in a vantage position to contribute hugely to the quest by the bank to reposition the country’s economy through the empowerment of SMIs going by its size and comparative advantage,
Emphasizing that industrial concerns were the beneficiaries of the N18bn already disbursed, the BOI MD added that the N2billion balance was meant for other beneficiaries who were yet to access the fund.
“Oyo State is very dear to the heart of our organization due to its centrality to Lagos, which is an African commercial nerve center and for the rest of the country. So, we are supporting a lot of industries in Oyo State. Out of the N20 billion approved for the state, N18 billion had been disbursed to beneficiaries in the SMIs. The balance of N2bn is yet to be disbursed.” he said.
Mr Pitan added that “this gesture is solely because of the importance of Oyo State as the gateway between Lagos, and the Southern and Northern Nigeria. The giant stride of the current administration in Oyo State is obvious to all in the areas of physical infrastructure, urban renewal and industrialization. You are a builder and we want to build Oyo State with you.”
Welcoming the BOI team to his office, Governor Abiola Ajimobi urged the bank to look closely at the possibility of funding the emerging technological hub in the state, as well as agriculture due to the pivotal roles the governor said both could play in making the state another commercial haven.
Lamenting that Oyo state lost its commercial glory over a period of time due to the negligence of the SMIs by past administrations in the state, Governor Ajimobi said his administration was working round the clock to revamp the economy of the state.
“The position of Oyo State in geographical, historical and commercial dominance in the past was overtaken by other states due to the neglect of SMIs. But, since our coming we have been working hard to harness the potential of the state in order to restore the lost glory. The present development in Oyo State was premised on security, social infrastructure and industrialization. We believe in using technology to turn things around. This is why we established the Free Trade Zone, Technical University and other technical corridors. This is the area we believe your bank’s intervention is mostly needed and useful. Lack of middle-level manpower in Nigeria, which has become an economic albatross, is where your bank can come in and assist investors.” he said
The governor added that “also, in the area of agriculture Oyo State is known to be a major producer of cashew nuts. Today, agriculture is the only venture in which political office holders are also allowed to invest, according to the constitution. So, we want you to devote more funds to this as well.”