The Bank of Industry (BoI) has sealed a memorandum of understanding with the National Council for Arts and Culture to provide the sum of N300m loan for operators in the creative industry.
The agreement which was signed in Abuja would enable the bank provide the loan at a single digit interest rate to be repaid between a period of four to five years.
Mr Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director, BoI, signed on behalf of the bank while the Director General, NCAC, Olusegun Runsewe, signed the agreement on behalf of the council.
Olagunju described the agreement as a major milestone as it would change the face of the arts and culture industry in Nigeria.
He said the management of the bank was excited to provide the funding to the sector owing to its huge job creation potentials.
He said with the focus of the Federal Government to diversify the economy away from oil, any support to small scale businesses in the non oil sector would go a long way in reducing the level of poverty and unemployment in the country.
He said, “The MoU would enable us to provide a total sum of N300m as take off point to support businesses in the arts and culture industry. We would be lending to the sector at a single digit interest rate for a period of three to five years.
“We see this sector as an important sector to stimulate economic activities owing to its job creation potentials and we call on all stakeholders to also support SMEs by providing a competitive environment so that their operating expense can be reduced.”
Runsewe described the MOU as a milestone in the creative sector, adding that this is the first time that the sector would access funds from a financial institution at a single digit interest rate.
He said through leveraging on the unique potential of the creative industry, the country would be able to diversify the economy away from oil.