The Jigawa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth 6 billion naira with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to improve the economic status of the state’s citizens.

The formal signing of the MoU took place Tuesday at the Government House in Dutse, marking an important milestone in the state’s economic growth and development.

The BOI delegation was led by Executive Director Corporate Services, Mr. Usen Effiong, representing the bank’s Managing Director.

This partnership aims to provide soft loan access to medium- and small-scale businesses in Jigawa State, demonstrating the state government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Usen Effiong, in his address, described the event as a landmark achievement in unlocking economic potential and encouraging entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. He congratulated Governor Namadi and the Jigawa State Government for this significant economic stride within the Governor’s first year in office and expressed gratitude to the state government for facilitating the MoU through the provision of office accommodation for the bank’s operations in the state.

The MoU will include the creation of a 4 billion naira matching fund and a 2 billion naira managed fund.

Under this arrangement, the Jigawa state government will provide 2 billion naira, which the BOI will match with an additional 2 billion naira, while the Jigawa state government is contributing another 2 billion naira for the managed fund.

Mr. Effiong said the collaboration positions Jigawa State among BOI’s strategic partners, providing essential financial services to support business activities and enhance value chains, among other benefits.

“With the signing of this MoU today, Jigawa joined the league of other strategic partners of BOI in bringing deliberate finance services to business activities to support the value chain and reduce dependency on neighboring states for finished goods.”

Mr. Effiong highlighted the role of the Jigawa State empowerment and employment agency in assisting the bank through its training programs, aimed at minimizing challenges associated with MSMEs.

“We are very optimistic and confident that the Jigawa State Employment Agency will assist the bank through its articulate training programmes to limit or eliminate challenges associated with MSMEs in terms of assets to be asked for. We will work closely with the state government to ensure the successful implementation of this initiative.”

He stressed the bank’s delight at Jigawa State’s progress, saying that BOI has already provided 2 billion naira to indigenous companies in the state, with another 2.5 billion naira in the pipeline. Additionally, BOI’s Rural Areas Programme for Investment and Development (RAPID), which is aimed at supporting rural industries and mitigating rural-urban migration, has 1,621 applications currently under review in Jigawa State.

Also speaking at the event, the BOI’s Executive Director of Small and Medium Enterprise, Alhaji Umar Shekarau, said that the MoU is a significant achievement for the bank, as “it is the biggest MoU signed with any state government in the history of the Bank of Industry.”

Governor Namadi expressed his pleasure at reaching this milestone, reiterating his resolve to support MSMEs in Jigawa State.

“The occasion is a milestone in our journey towards poverty eradication, job creation, and development. Empowering people through their own businesses of choice is a strategy we have adopted for accelerating growth and development in Jigawa State, and the Bank of Industry is a key partner in achieving this goal,” he said.

He emphasized that MSMEs are vital for providing employment and livelihoods for many people. The governor noted that this collaboration aligns with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda and his administration’s 12-point agenda, bringing financing sources closer to the people of Jigawa.

Governor Namadi pledged to execute the MoU in accordance with its terms and conditions, ensuring sufficient funding for small and medium enterprises to expand their operations. He reiterated the state government’s commitment to working with BOI on this journey.

“With this MOU, we are now committed to joining hands with the BOI to facilitate access to soft loans for our small, medium, and even large-scale businesses in the state.”

“We are very happy today to have a BOI branch in our state, and all relevant state government agencies are fully engaged to enlighten Jigawa citizens and support them in accessing the opportunities provided by the bank.”

The event also coincided with the formal commissioning of the BOI branch office in Jigawa State, with Governor Namadi performing the ceremony. Top state government officials and senior management members from the bank’s headquarters attended the commissioning.

Hamisu Mohammed Gumel

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Jigawa State

July 2, 2024

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