The Bank of Industry (BoI) said it increased lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from N8.2 billion in 2016 to N29.5 billion in 2017.
Aliyu Dikko, the Chairman, Governing Board of BoI, made this known at the 58th annual meeting of the bank in Abuja.
According to Dikko, the bank’s disbursement profile also improved significantly from N65.9 billion to N112.5 billion during the period under review.
“In spite of the challenging operating environment, I am pleased to announce that the group’s total assets improved by 4.5 per cent from N682 billion to N713 billion between 2016 and 2017.
“The total equity rose from N219 billion in 2016 to N241 billion in 2017, while Profit before Tax increased from N16.9 billion to N26.3 billion in the same period, a growth of 55.6 per cent.
“The bank’s disbursement profile in the year improved from N65.9 billion to N112.5 billion.
“Lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) also increased significantly to N29.5 billion, when compared to N8.2 billion in 2016,” he said.
According to him, the economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa rebounded in 2017 to 2.4 per cent after experiencing a two-decade low of 1.3 per cent in 2016.
Dikko said the region, which was largely dependent on commodities, witnessed modest recoveries in three of its largest economies which are Angola, Nigeria and South Africa.
He added that improvements in commodity prices, favourable global financing conditions and tempering inflation were responsible for the growth.
According to him, weak investment, declining productivity growth and negative per capita income growth are major growth-limiting factors in the region.
“In spite of the above, Nigeria achieved economic growth of 0.83 per cent in 2017.
“This growth was attributed principally to the performance of the agricultural sector, ramp up in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector and several economic reforms instituted by the Federal Government,” Dikko said.
He said 2018 would be better than the past years with the effort of the Federal Government, adding that more would be done for MSMEs because “it is the engine of growth for any economy.’’
Olukayode Pitan, the Managing Director, BoI, said the industrial sector benefited from the loans of the bank in the last one year.
Pitan said the bank gave out more than one million naira as loans to the sector, adding that payment of non-performing loans was less than five per cent.