The Bank of Industry (BOI) has predicted that the economy would ‘slowly’ recover from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The economy will recover and as it recovers from the effect of the pandemic, I do see a period of some growth,” the bank’s Executive Director, Toyin Adeniji, forecast in a chat with The Guardian.
She said the country has had time to “build some business-friendly policies” that would boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) cluster. Adeniji was reacting to the improved reduction of business closures in the country.
According to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), there was an 18 per cent decrease in November 2020 as against the 57 per cent tally of August.
The initiative was launched in 2016 to offer interest and collateral-free credit to the millions of MSMEs operating at the bottom of the Nigerian economic pyramid.
“We will continue to see these clusters coming. We are going to see some of the creative and innovations coming up by a way of funding and empowerment,” the BOI chief said, adding that the improvements would be enduring.
Although the pandemic had some adverse effects on businesses, Adeniji said increased digitalisation efforts as a result of industries adapting to the new normal, really assisted her organisation to achieve more.
She said GEEP was able to reach over two million beneficiaries with the help of digital platforms, build a database of more than seven million recipients and verify about five million of them through some “rigid” processes.
“Digitalisation also helps reduce cost and customisation,” the ED added. In September, BOI said it had a fully digitised loan record and bio-data of all 2,418,936 GEEP beneficiaries.
She stated that the programme relies heavily on technology to deliver its three loan products, namely TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.