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BoI Strategises to Increase SMEs’ Access to Loans

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Worried by inability of SMEs to access its loans as a result of badly presented applications, the Bank of Industry (BoI), at the weekend unfolded plans to partner Business Support firms (BSFs) to drive its intervention agenda in the small and medium enterprises sector.

Besides, the bank also expressed its resolve to explore new funding alternatives in a bid to realise its mandates, following the pressure, which has continued to mount on government’s resources in terms of financing.

The bank noted that it was seeking new funds to make impactful contributions to Federal Government’s National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) as well as serve the underserved, particularly the small and medium enterprises.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director, BoI, noted that the bank was developing strategies to improve stakeholders’ access to funds.

“BoI is trying to achieve a balance in its functions as a development finance institution in terms of delivering social impact and maintaining a sustainable loan infrastructure.

“We have met with Business Support Firms to address the large percentage of substandard loan applications as we have discovered that a good way out is to engage with BSFs who will receive the applications and help review them as they better understand how a bankable proposal should look like,” he said.

He added that the SME sector would receive adequate attention from the development bank and their funding challenges addressed through concrete and visible steps.

“Although we are confident that key shareholders  in the NIRP initiative like the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, will continue to support the bank with some equity injection, but considering the fact that there is a lot of demand on government’s resources, we are exploring alternative modes of funding such as continuation of sector specific intervention funds by the CBN, Ministry of Agriculture, Solid Minerals and others; managed funds from various state governments and foundations; long-term loans at very low interest rates from multi-lateral/international development institutions,” he said.

He added that BoI would also explore domestic and international bond issuance and other sustainable annuity sources that may become statutorily imperative in the medium to long term.

He disclosed that in pursuance of the success of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, a major focal point of the bank was to help promote employment generation and wealth creation through access to development funds.

“We have met with Business Support Firms BSFs to address the large percentage of substandard loan applications as we have discovered that a good way out is to engage with BSFs who will receive the applications and help review them as they better understand how a bankable proposal should look like,” he said.

“As you are aware, our Honourable Minister in the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, is leading the efforts to industrialise Nigeria and to create millions of jobs in the process. At BoI, we’re passionate about these objectives,” he said.

He said that he had also met and discussed with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina on issues relating to the various agricultural development funds managed by BoI as part of the minister’s efforts to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

“We are in agreement that there is room for wider collaboration between his ministry and BoI, especially in the area of financing the agricultural value chain,” he said.

He unfolded the bank’s agenda to pursue good corporate governance; sharp focus on its core mandate; sound risk management and compliance; venture capital investments; partnerships and collaborations; customer service responsiveness and create linkages between innovation and industry.


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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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