The Bank of Industry has stated that it is willing to invest over N1 billion in renewable energy and carbon-free businesses in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during an interview at the Bank of Industry’s SMEs Conference, South-South edition held in Port Harcourt at the weekend, Executive Director, of Corporate Services, Usen Okon Effiong, said the bank, through a loan facility from French Development Bank, wants to fund businesses, especially in the area of renewable energies.
Effiong, who disclosed that the region is strategic in the comity of businesses, noted that the bank is seizing the opportunities in the region to eradicate poverty and hunger.
He said: “The South-South is one of the most important zones in Nigeria. The States in the zone have contributed a lot to the national treasury. And we are here to enlighten the populace of this state on the opportunities inherent in the Bank of Industry.
“The world is going further into a carbon-free environment, and renewable energy and these are the opportunities that are inherent in the south-south.”
He added: “We want to key into it. Recently, the French Development Agency has given us a facility, a window of opportunity of a 100 million Euros and we want people from this area, mostly in terms of renewable energy and carbon-free businesses. So we have come to introduce what we have that will benefit the south-south.”
He, however, lauded the customers in the region for the timely repayment of their loans, stressing that the objective of the bank is not just profit making but the impact, employment generation, and food, in line with the sustainable development goals, which is first to eradicate poverty and hunger.
Speaking at the conference, the Bank’s Regional manager, South-South, Pacqueens Irabo further disclosed that the business conference was to further deepen the relationship with the public and private partners in the region.
He said: “This is to enable us to further deepen our relationship with development partners because we have come to the conclusion that the problems we face are common and we can not solve them without partnership. The essence of this is for us to forge further relationships and deepen relationships with all our developmental partners in the public and private spaces.”