Targets over 1000 enterprises in 2017
To further improve local production in the country, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has announced plans to improve access to funds for locally produced goods already certified by regulatory agencies.
To realise its objectives, the bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) involved in local production.
The move will further encourage growth of local producers and certification of processes to improve market access.
The acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, explained that in 2017, the development finance institution (DFI) will see much of its developmental funds targeted at ailing firms and brown field projects, maintaining that these projects have a faster turnaround time by way of job creation and other positive multiplier effects.
Under the MoU, NAFDAC will give the DFI access to the regulator’s database to work with companies that have been accredited by NAFDAC.
In his words, “For this country’s economic recovery to be fast-tracked, both agencies must work hand in hand to support particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Those who produce food must receive NAFDAC certification and endorsement before they can access credit. The importance of this is that if you do not have NAFDAC numbers, you cannot sell your products in the open market, your business model will become defective while your business plan will not materialize.
“Unless we are able to establish that you can sell your products when they are produced, we will not lend to you, because it is only when you sell that the cash flow projections on which loan repayment is predicated can be realized. For us it is very important for our customers to be accredited by NAFDAC.”
He added that the bank is paying attention to existing companies and brown field projects.
“We are going to increase our turnaround time, because we have to be flexible at times like this, so we are fast-tracking our processes with high quality services for our customers across the country.
“In 2016, we granted loans to more than 800 companies. In 2017, we plan to do more than a thousand because that is one of the fastest ways of ensuring quick recovery of the Nigerian economy and we are concentrating on brown fields, because new projects take about 18 to 24 months to implement before they start feeling the impact of such companies by way of job creation and other multiplier effects, but we are focusing on ailing firms because their turnaround times are usually shorter and as such, they can begin to employ quicker than green field projects,” he said.
In her response, the acting Director General, NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, said the signing of the MoU is a culmination of exchanges between the two organisations on ways to further entrench the policy thrust of the government of the Federal Government on development of the non-oil sector of the economy.