By: JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
An entrepreneur, Mr Muideen Ibrahim has advocated for special funds at single interest rate from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in order to boost production capacity in the manufacturing sector.
Ibrahim made the appeal during the inauguration and production commencement of indigenous pencil manufacturing in Lagos.
According to him, having a single digit interest rate will help to support companies in actualizing their goals.
He also urged the Federal Government to promote manufacturing of local pencil and stop its importation since alternative was now available in Nigeria.
Ibrahim, also the Chief Executive Officer of the company, BAMIB Resources and Investments Company Ltd.,(BRIC) said, “We use old newspapers for the production of our pencils in order to preserve the eco system and also in conformity with one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”
According to him, the products are of high quality which can be compared to international standard because the company does not compromise quality in the production processes.
“The company has come to stay in Lagos and ready to fill the gap since the bulk of the pencils used in Nigeria at the moment are imported from overseas.
“Nigerians should endeavour to develop Nigeria and not otherwise, so that this great country can also be a producing nation and not a consuming one.
“The importance of manufacturing companies in a nation cannot be over emphasized,” he said.
The BRIC boss said that he had been on the project for the past two years, adding that the company was able to commence as planned to commitments.
” The company is technology driven, customer experienced, high quality designed and creative and thus has given us an edge in customisation since we are based in the country.
“We will focus on the Nigerian customers such as primary schools, secondary schools, corporate bodies and government establishments.
“We will also explore other West Africa markets because of the ample of opportunities that can be found in the sub region,” Ibrahim added.
The entrepreneur said that the production capacity at the moment stood at 390,000 pieces per month and hope to double its figure when funds were available.
He also said that the investment profile of the company was over N40 million, adding that Bank of Industry (BoI) availed the company a loan as well as funds from families and friends.
He said that the funds were used to procure machines, while lots of funds also went into Research and Development.
Ibrahim said that the company has employed production and support staff of fifteen, planned to increase its capacity
“We planned to employ 450 Nigerians after our expansion drive and we can replicate that initiative in three regions which are Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kaduna.
He said that the vision of BRIC was to be the number one technologically driven pencil manufacturing company in the country with strong Africa presence.
Ibrahim added that the company targets to be ranked first in Nigeria pencil production in the next five years.
” We be plan to a reference point for pencil production in West Africa and become the employer of choice in Nigeria.
” We also planned to have International Standard Organization (ISO) certification and move the company to permanent site.
” We are also working towards engaging in backward integration for our raw materials, increase our brand awareness, embark on expansion and approach the stock market amongst others,” he added.
Ibrahim expressed gratitude to the management and staff of BOI, for their support so far.
Ibrahim said that fund and power remained a serious challenge confronting the company, adding that the company was practically running on generators.
In his remarks, the State Manager, Bank of Industry, Mr Emmanuel Egbuta said that BRIC was able to roll out and that the board was happy for the creativity, tenacity exhibited by the founder of the company.
According to him, BRIC has given BOI hope and BOI will sell BRIC to Nigerians and the outside world. We will continue to support BRIC in all ramifications.
The Lead Consultant of Prinsult Global, Mrs Raliat Oyetunde who packaged BRIC for BoI said that BRIC was indeed a success story and that she was very happy to be part of that story.
She encouraged BRIC to also manufacture other allied products that would add value to the nation.
The Chairman of the Company, Dr Nosike Agokei remarked that he did not hesitate to accept Ibrahim offer when he was approached to be the company’s chairman.
According to Agokei, l accepted to serve because of the track record of Ibrahim over the years.
” I promised to support the company morally and otherwise in order to move the company to the next level.