The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, has said the bank is exploring ways to help drive efforts at implementing viable solutions required to scale up interventions in support of crisis-afflicted communities across the country.
He added that promoting investment and entrepreneurship to scale up interventions in crisis communities had become crucial.
He said violence, particularly by the Boko Haram insurgents, had led to the death of 20,000 Nigerian, displaced over two million people as well as created a massive humanitarian crisis.
This crisis, according to him, had prompted the rise of civilian vigilante self-defence groups that also pose potential security risks.
Pitan spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at a round-table on investing in communities affected by conflict and crisis with the theme, “Investment and entrepreneurship for resilient communities: The missing link”, which was organised by BoI.
He said the bank in the last four and a half years had provided financial support amounting to N627bn to over 7,000 enterprises in the country.
He said through these interventions, the bank had created over 2.7 million jobs.
The BoI boss said, “Our objective is to reduce the reliance of the indigenes on humanitarian aid.
“We started with a plan to empower a hundred thousand micro small and medium entrepreneurs.
“But today, we will like to take this number to over one million beneficiaries.”
He said given the challenges ahead, the bank had only just started.
“We intend to do much more, and as such, we are aggressively seeking strategic partnerships with other stakeholders who can help us increase the depth and breadth of our interventions across the country,” he added.
He expressed optimism that at the end of the event, stakeholders would have agreed concrete plans and commitments on how to generate resources to meet the goals set out by the government.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, called on the banking sector, multinational institutions and development partners to leverage on existing initiatives to attract adequate investments in communities ravaged by conflicts across the country.