By Kelvin Ololo And Margaret Adadu
The Deputy Manager, Bank of Industry (BOI) Calabar Cross River State Mr. Pius Neji has enumerated some challenges hindering access to funds by SME and Entrepreneurs as lack of awareness of BOI processes, lack of cooperate identity, and lack of commitment to repaying back loans.
Marshalling his points, he said “People always assumed BOI is like a commercial bank, we are a development finance institute. We see people come and tell us that they have bottlenecks with us because they seem not to understand how the processes work.”
Discussing the topic “Access to Finance for Cross River Entrepreneurs; Challenges and Opportunities” on “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” episode 117, aired Sundays Hit 95.9FM Calabar, he said that “BOI does not give cash to entrepreneurs rather we help implement and provide equipments.”
On registration, the Deputy Manager maintained that “Most entrepreneurs don’t see the value of registering an entreprise.” He advised that “When you get an idea, better register a company so that we can deal with you appropriately.”
Proffering available opportunities, Mr. Pius said that BOI has provided funds for about 42 clusters of businesses with 9% interest rate for entrepreneurs and these opportunities include: market money, fund for garment care (fashion), paper printing, food juice, baking, cottage agro industry, fund from 5million to 20million naira depending on the kind of business an entrepreneur wants to venture into as long as it falls into BOI mandate.
He added that the public can key into these opportunities by accessing the institute on www.boi.ng for more information.
Concluding, he said “BOI and Cross River Government choose to synergize, we have a matching fund of fifty fifty, I think the State Government should add more money, allocate more funds to that fund because the fund is depleted, BOI wants the Government to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and investors.”
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