Photo caption ” L-R: Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Executive Director, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Bank of Industry (BOI), Shekarau Omar; Governor Godwin Obaseki; Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Pitan Olukayode; Executive Director, BOI, Jonathan Tobin, and Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., during the official launch of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fund, at the Government House in Benin City, on Thursday, August 26, 2021.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the Bank of Industry (BOI), yesterday unveiled a Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development fund worth N2bn to support entrepreneurs in the state.
The fund was launched during a citizens’ engagement session organized by the Edo State Skills Development Agency, also known as EdoJobs, held at the Government House, in Benin City, with the theme, ‘Empowering the youths to create sustainable livelihood’.
The governor also launched the Edo online marketplace, in partnership with e-commerce platform, KONGA.
According to Obaseki, “the Bank of Industry (BOI), which is a reliable partner, is here today to launch the MSME fund. The initial amount is N2 billion; we are making available N2 billion for MSMEs in Edo State.
“In addition, we have a N165million fund, as part of the first tranche from the Edo State Government. It will be made available to small businesses, which are currently domiciled in our production hub. The money is to support and encourage them to grow their businesses. Edo State Government provided N1 billion, while BOI provided the other N1 billion, making it N2 billion, with an attractive interest rate.”
“BOI has the capacity and resources to support this kind of programme. We are also partnering with Konga, utilizing the opportunity to empower our youths in the state,” he noted.
“From this N2 billion fund, we estimate that we can impact as many as 50,000 businesses in Edo State. We have other facilities with other institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is a start-up fund, as we expect it to continue to grow: If you start with N50,000, now and when you do well tomorrow in your business, you will need N200,000.
Borrowing is part of business, provided you continue to grow,” the governor stated.
Obaseki said, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration remains committed to improving the livelihoods of the people and creating opportunities for the youths to thrive.
He stated: “We have continued to create opportunities for Edo youths as our administration is open, transparent and competent in all we do. We urge Edo people to trust us, as all the opportunities that we present are real, and life-transforming for Edo people.”
The governor, who reassured on the realization of the government’s Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) agenda, stated: “We needed information to transform the state. As such, we embarked on the collation of data through our youths with the Data for MEGA project.
In Oredo Local Government Area (LGA), we have 11,152 small and medium businesses. In Owan West LGA, we have 501 small and medium businesses; the same data were collated across the state.”
On his part, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, noted that “in a quest to grow and develop MSME businesses in the country, BOI has resolved to continue to collaborate with existing enterprises, as well as reputable local and international partners.
“The MSME fund is aimed at providing business loans to enterprises located within the state, while the second fund is the N165m Edo Production Hub Fund, financed by the Edo State Government. The Edo Production Hub Fund is managed by the BOI and is to support businesses located within the state-owned production hub.”
The governor was also taken on a guided tour of the Edo Production Hub, along with his wife, Betsy; MD of BOI, Pitan; Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha, among others.
The team also commissioned the new Bank of Industry Building in Benin City, the Edo State capital.