The value of loans approved by the Bank of Industry (BOI) over the last one year increased by 68 percent, from N114.30 billion to N192.04 billion (about 77.74 billion), the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said yesterday.
The minister made the remarks in Abuja at the third D-8 SMEs working group meeting organized by Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Represented by Engr. Samuel Adeniyi, the minister said estimated jobs created also increased by 34 percent, (335,000) from 1,000,000, to 1,335,000 in the last one year.
"The Bank of Industry is getting round collateral issues related with funding through cross-guarantees by members of cooperatives, while there are intervention funds for sectors e.g. textiles," he said.
Aganga explained that as part of overall strategy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a national policy on MSME has been developed and a national database established in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics.
Director General of SMEDAN Muhammad Nadada Umar said if Nigeria wanted to be among the top 20 developed nations by 2020, deliberate efforts must be made to grow the over 17 million MSMEs in the country.
The SME contemporary development challenges must be critically addressed in a structured and efficient manner to achieve "our national goal of job creation in tendam with transformation agenda," he said.
He explained that the SME sector provides the platform for opening the D8 countries to global competitiveness and prosperity required to elevate them to economically advanced nations.