By Gilbert Ekugbe
“WE are looking at ways to support businesses promoted by women, businesses owned by women, businesses led by women in terms of management or businesses that generate huge employment for women. Going forward in 2018, we have budgeted N22 billion by way of disbursement to drive women entrepreneurship which would represent a record breaking achievement of what the bank has done in the past 12 years just in a year.”
This was the commitment from Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, BOI, at an event to commemorate the international women’s day.
The BOI boss who was represented by the Executive Director, SMEs, Waheed Olagunju, disclosed that about N20.5 billion was made to support women businesses in the country in 2017.
“Let us know how best BOI can assist you. We are receptive and we know many of you have travelled wide both within and outside the country. We want to know the best practices in other parts of the world. Let us know how best we can assist women in Nigeria.
“The eight years we had a woman as Managing Director was the period we experienced the greatest transformation in the bank. When she took over in December 2005 she inherited a loan book of N9 billion and within one year, the loan book doubled from N9 billion in four years to N22 billion in one year and as at the time she left the bank, she left behind a profit of about N3 billion in 2014 and our risk assets have grown phenomenally to more than N500 million.
“We want this replicated in other areas. We have seen what other women have done in terms of managing enterprises and that is why we believe women can do a lot more both in the private and public sector in terms of leading this country to the promise land,” he said.