The Bank of Industry (BoI) said on Thursday that it had disbursed over N20.5 billion in 2017 to 346 enterprises owned by women.
The Managing Director of BoI, Kayode Pitan, made the disclosure at the bank’s celebration of the 2018 International Women’s Day in Lagos.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 annually to recognise the roles of women and seek gender equality and women empowerment.
The theme of the 2018 celebration is: “Press for Progress”.
Mr. Pitan was represented by Waheed Olagunju, BoI’s Head of SMEs.
He said the bank recognised the role, achievements and contributions of women entrepreneurs to the development of the nation’s economy.
The managing director said the disbursement impacted positively on livelihood, job creation and GDP growth.
Mr. Pitan said the bank had earmarked N22 billion for 2018 to support women businesses and build on past successes to drive economic growth and recovery.
He reiterated BoI’s commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs through the bank’s Gender Business Group promoting women enterprises through innovative, financial and business support services.
He said the bank would continue to equip women with requisite skills and knowledge aimed at driving entrepreneurship growth.
According to him, supporting women can unleash, ”a strong force for innovation, productivity, wealth creation and economic growth”.
Earlier, Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the Federal Government would continue to support female entrepreneurs to boost inclusive and virile economic growth.
The minister was represented by Temitope Gbamgboye, a Director in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Mrs. Abubakar said that the government would not hesitate to expand its programmes to encourage more women to embrace entrepreneurship.