Bank of Industry assets hit N1.8trn despite COVID- 19 –Chairman

The Bank of Industry (BOI) says its total assets grew to N1.86 trillion during  the 2020 financial year, despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economies.

Our Correspondent reports that Aliyu Dikko, Chairman, Board of Directors of BOI, disclosed this at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the bank held on Thursday, in Abuja.

According to him, the N1.86 trillion represented an increase of 79.1 per cent when compared to the N1.04 trillion it recorded in the 2019 financial year.

Dikko ascribed the achievement to the bank’s resilience and strive amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to businesses.

He noted that the increase in total assets by 79.1 per cent was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndications of €1 billion and $1 billion that were concluded in March and December 2020, respectively.

Dikko stated that the Group’s total equity increased by 15.3 per cent from N293.08 billion in the previous year, to N336.48 billion in 2020.

The chairman informed shareholders at the meeting that Loans and Advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84 billion, from the year 2019 position.

This, he stated, was a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new loans.

He further explained that Profit Before Tax fell by 9.6 per cent from N39.34 billion in 2019 to N35.54 billion, attributing it to the slowdown in  economic activities during the year, as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the Bank for its customers.

The chairman said that the bank facilitated the disbursement of N2.5 billion and N1.2 billion under the N-Power and Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programmes to 300,011 and 109,039 beneficiaries, respectively, as part of the bank’s partnership with the Federal Government under the National Social Intervention Programme.

Dikko stated that BOI also made donations that impacted on economic integration and intra-Africa trade, by creating key opportunities for growth in the region particularly in food, pharmaceuticals, logistics and the digital economy.

“Despite the challenging year, I am pleased to announce that the Group’s financial statements remain strong and resilient.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to transform much faster than expected from the way we work to how we communicate; from the way we learn, to how we travel.

“We have witnessed improved opportunities in key sectors and industries, notably health care  and Information and Communication Technology.

“The IMF projects a growth of 1.5 per cent for Nigeria on the back of recovery in oil economy, as well as implementation of key initiatives aimed at spurring economic growth.

“Our broad strategy in the coming year shall mirror that of the government, in terms of focusing on business recovery, whilst keeping an eye on growth and new business opportunities,” he said.

Dikko expressed appreciation to the bank’s Board, its management and staff and relevant stakeholders, including  the CBN, customers, government agencies and other strategic partners for ensuring its continued growth and success.

Similarly, the chairman commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, members of the Coalition against COVID-19, other private and public sector agencies, for their immense efforts toward managing and reducing the impact of the pandemic.

“Our thoughts and prayers also go to the frontline health workers and emergency response officials, who risked their lives daily to ensure the safety of others. They are by far the true heroes of 2020,” Dikko said.

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