The Managing director of the Bank of Industry, the oldest and largest development finance institution currently operating in Nigeria, Kayode Pitan, has debunked the belief in some quarters that loan applicants need to know someone in the bank before they can obtain a loan. He stated this while speaking at a virtual conference tagged ‘Reset’ organized by the Capstone Church, Lagos, recently.
“You do not need to know anyone or have an insider in BOI; that has never been a condition for getting loans. As long as you have all the required documents in place and you meet all the requirements, the loan will be granted’’ Pitan stated.
Pitan also stated that it is not true that the Bank does not finance businesses in the service sector. ‘We provide facilities to businesses that add value to the economy as long as they meet the requirements for the particular facility they are applying for’. There are also priority sectors supported by the Bank of Industry as a reflection of the priority sectors targeted by the government.
While speaking on the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and industries, Pitan observed that the effect cuts across sectors. He made particular mention of Industries like Aviation, Retail and Trading, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports, Events and Real Estate which have been badly hit by the pandemic. ‘Budgets are being scaled down, oil production has reduced and oil price has gone down, revenue from oil might decline by as much as 80%. The Naira to dollar exchange rate has gone up and thousands of people have been laid off’ He noted.
He advised individuals and business owners to adopt cost saving measures and avoid expenses that are not necessary. He also stated that people need to be flexible at this time and should consider diversification where necessary. ‘All businesses have to leverage technology; that is the future. E-commerce will also get a lot bigger’.
To cushion the effect of the pandemic on businesses, Pitan stated that ‘We have had to restructure facilities for our customers. We have also reduced interest rates from 10% to 8%.In the same vein, we have extended moratorium of 3 months to those with current facilities with us; this could apply on principal alone or both principal and interest’
Bank of Industry is Nigeria’s oldest, largest and most successful Development Finance Institution (DFI). Incorporated in 1959 as Investment Company of Nigeria (ICON), transformed into Nigerian Industrial Development Bank in 1964 and ultimately into Bank of Industry (BOI) in 2001.
Consequently, BOI’s mandate is the transformation of Nigeria’s industrial sector by providing financial and advisory support .