The Bank of Industry’s (BoI) intervention in Nigeria’s creative industry has hit N2 billion.
Seven projects are currently accessing the bank’s facilities while another 10 are at different stages of loan approval, BoI has said.
Speaking during a visit to Kunle Afolayan, Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director/CEO, said the development bank had restructured its operations to improve access to its services, saying the peculiarity of each sector was being considered for loan disbursements.
According to him, the bank has relaxed its criteria to aid access to the facilities, as viable distribution channels are equally being financed to aid loan repayment as well as mitigate default.
He said the bank, in line with its mandate, had developed a special product tagged ‘BoI NollyFund’ under which Nigeria’s leading movie producers would receive financial support to produce international quality films and screen them through various platforms of movie distribution available both in Nigeria and internationally.
“To support this process and ensure that only commercially viable scripts with good story-lines benefit from the scheme, the bank did set up a NollyFund Implementation Advisory Group to advise the institution on loan approval to the creative industry,” the BoI CEO said.
“The Group’s mandate is to critically review all the film scripts and associated budgets submitted to BoI by movie producers and make technical recommendations to BoI management for final credit appraisal and subsequent approval in line with the bank’s credit policy.
“The visit to Kunle Afolayan’s set for the production of his new movie, ‘The C.E.O,’ is part of the bank’s activities in assessing the utilisation of the facility approved for a project. It is the same way when we visit factories to see how funds were utilised,” he said.
According to him, NollyFund has an initial programme limit of N1 billion and a single obligor limit of N50 million for individual loans, adding that over N2 billion has been accessed so far by the industry.
“Kunle Afolayan is the first person to access the fund, while others are underway,” he disclosed.
On his part, Kunle Afolayan, movie producer, commended the bank for improving access to the facility, noting that the project would not had started without funding from the bank.
“The BoI initiative for the creative industry should be encouraged. We had applied for facility some few years back but we got denied. With the restructuring of the loan processes, we have been able to access the funds easily, while the innovative approach to financing by the bank is highly commendable,” Afolayan said.
Source : BusinessDay