A financial expert, Dr. Samuel Nzekwe, on Wednesday described the proposed plan by the Federal Government to scrap the Bank of Industry (BOI) as ‘inconsistent’.
Nzekwe, who is a former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ota, Ogun.
NAN reports that Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director, BOI, had on Monday kicked against the move by the Senate to scrap the bank and establish a National Development Bank in its place.
According to him, the persistent changes in government policies would not help the national economy to develop and achieve the desired goals.
“There is need for the Federal Government to continue with its BOI activities which cover identified areas of deficiency, to enable the economy to be able to perform well,’’ he said.
The former ANAN president, however, advised the Federal Government to strengthen the BOI in its weak areas so that the bank would be able to grant loans to the real sector.
Nzekwe said that some of the manufacturers were able to get loans from the deposit banks due to the inability of BOI to give loans to them.
“The government should employ experts to look into the BOI and come out with suggestions that would take care of those areas that they are functioning well,’’ he said.
Another expert, Dr Onafowokan Oluyombo, an Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Atlantic University, Lagos argued that the changing of BOI to a National Development Bank was “a policy somersault’’.
Oluyombo explained that the nation had not experienced any positive impact from many Federal Government initiatives as a result of inconsistencies in policy.
The don stated that the BOI was formerly an Industrial Development Bank and a National Bank for Commerce and Industry, before its name was changed in 2001.
He said: “it was not about changing BOI that matters but if the change will lead to any positive impact on the economy.
“Will it give small enterprises the opportunity to access loans or will it have regional offices to reduce manpower costs and operations?
“These are some of the issues that need to be considered before scrapping the industrial development bank,’’ he said.
Oluyombo stressed that the cost of establishing the National Development Bank at local levels across the country would have been better used for productive purposes.