Earlier today, I went to the Awka branch of Bank of Industry (BOI) to see if I could get a quick loan. You will not believe what they told me.
First, I asked if they could fund a sociapreneurial business model. They said no. Socialpreneurial projects (ideas) are business models that are geared towards solving social problems without necessarily aiming to make profit but do end up making profit.
I went on. I asked, so what kind of businesses do you provide funding support for? The lady said ‘businesses that are into production. We fund machineries. If you are into, lets say, soap making production, we can help fund you in areas of procuring machineries for production. We are a Bank of Industry’.
Wait oh. So if I have, lets say, a poultry business proposal, you will not fund it? She said ‘yes, we can only help you in areas of feed processing for your birds’. So you mean you cannot give me money to buy cage, birds, feeds, build infrastructure and a little start-up capital? She said ‘no, we only finance machineries for production’. Na wa oh.
At this point, I had become confused. I asked ‘but you have ongoing initiatives for graduates and young entrepreneurs and in your criteria you did not state this rule, why is it so?’. She said ‘well, that is all I know about our operations, anybody who submits a business idea that is not into production that needs machineries will not be considered. What we do is, you get a quotation from two or more equipment manufacturers and we help you procure them. We are a Bank of Industry’.
Na wa oh. I responded in pidgin english ‘una for kuku ma tell us say BOI na for the big players like Dangotes and Innosons na, nor be for poor people like us when wan experiment for small business’. She smiled and said ‘well, we only fund production, no matter how small your production business is, we will help you get machineries’. I thanked her and left.
It is either I am completely ignorant of how BOI operates or the lady is ignorant of how the bank she works for operate. The lady cannot be ignorant so I concluded that I was the ignorant person.
Going to a Nigerian commercial bank to borrow money at the rate of 25.9% interest rate at this period of recession and market uncertainty will be econimic suicide.
Wahala dey for dis country oh. My own recession don enter gear three oh. No money, no job, less food, less social outing, no contracts. Debtors cannot pay me their debt meanwhile I am now accumulating my own debts. Hunger don come oh.