The Bank of Industry (BoI) National Automotive Council (NAC) Fund has grown to N18.09 billion since inception in 2003. The fund is aimed at developing the automotive sector by financing projects in the industry and the annual budgetary approval for capital and recurrent expenditures of NAC. BOl manages the fund for a fee of five per cent per annum on investible fund, payable quarterly and deductible from the balance of the fund. Similarly, it was learnt that NAC receives management fe e of two per cent per annum on investible fund payable quarterly and deducted from the balance of the fund. For the funding of projects, the fund is broken down into three categories such as, NAC Term loans and Working Capital Financing granted at 7.5 per cent and 10 per cent per annum on term loan and working capital respectively. The second category, NAC Auto Technicians Support Scheme boasts of N1 billion set aside from the main NAC fund for capacity building in repair and maintenance for artisans, craftsmen, technicians and mechanics.

The scheme is provided at 7.5 per cent per annum to the partnering Micro Finance Bank (MfB) and 10 per cent per annum to the final beneficiary. The last one is vehicle purchase credit scheme for individuals and private commercial operators, lease finance for fleet operators to purchase vehicles from local assembly plants in order to enhance their capacity utilisation and those of component manufacturers. BoI also manages funds for state governments such as Anambra, Niger and Kogi states. For Anambra State the fund is geared towards addressing the dearth of funding support to small business owners in the state. Under the scheme, entrepreneurs of Macro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) with production capacities within the state would access to the fund by way of funding equipment supply and requisite working capital.

These entrepreneurs are basically divided into two major categories namely cooperatives and SMEs both with distinct eligibility requirements and loan servicing conditions and terms, the financial commitment of the state to the programme is over a billion naira. For Niger State the government committed over a billion also to support businesses while Kogi state said that under the programme the small business owners with production capacities within the state would have access to the fund by way of equipment supply and requisite working capital.

All the collaborations the bank said is to grow small business who are the engine of growth in the different states and also a vehicle for job creation bearing in mind the millions of youth who roam the street on a daily basis looking for jobs. This intervention by BoI is in addition to a programme recently established to aid SMEs access an online real time request platform to grow their businesses. The bank said it took this path to starve the failure rate of applications and the inconveniences encountered by business owners to come physically to their office to make requests.

BoI Managing Director, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa said it will remove the inconveniences suffered by applicants; He said: “We have come up with a loan tracking system in such a way that when you apply for loan we give you a code. We have also appointed 122 Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) to help the businesses write good proposal that will attract loans from banks.

Our newly introduced SME Customer portal where have value proposals and contact details of all our customers. Currently we have data base for over 400 SMEs. This also makes for easier interaction amongst our customers where they can be encouraged to do businesses together.”

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