Bight Newspaper reports that the Bayelsa State Government has assured the Bank of Industry (BOI) of its readiness for effective partnership to drive sustainable industrial and economic development of the state.

Governor Douye Diri gave the assurance while receiving a high-powered four-man team from the South-South and South-East division of the Bank in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said his administration would do everything within its reach to ensure the quick and smooth take-off of the Bank’s operations in the state.

To this end, he said the state government had already provided a temporary operational office for the BOI to commence its operations in the state as soon as possible

Governor Diri, who noted that Bayelsa was in a hurry to catch up with other states in terms of industrial development, maintained that the present administration would harness opportunities being created by the bank to promote the growth of local industries in the state.

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He urged the BOI to furnish the state government with the list of Bayelsans who had already applied for loans and other facilities, but finding it difficult to meet the Bank’s requirements for government to consider and take necessary action.

His words: “Clearly, before now Bayelsa had not taken advantage of the opportunities created for us as a state by the Bank of Industry. However, this time we are ready to seize the opportunity you are going to create to drive growth of our local industries.

“We want to establish a relationship with the BOI that would be fruitful and run very fast. We, as a government, have an emergency in our hands; while you have urgency in your hands.

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“The State Government had already provided three places for you to choose one and start to use as a take-off operational office for the BOI in Bayelsa. The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor will take you there immediately after this meeting.

“We are ready for your operations even this month because the role of your bank is even more important than that of the mainstream commercial banks to the growth of local industries.”

Earlier in his presentation, the Divisional Head of the Bank of Industry, South-South and South-East, Dr Kings Jack, pointed out that Bayelsa was the only state in the entire South-South in which the BOI was not fully operational.

Dr Jack said the BOI team was in Bayelsa to seek collaboration with the state government on how to commence the bank’s services to stimulate industrial development of the oil-rich state.

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He further disclosed that many corporate organizations and individuals from Bayelsa could not access the over N1 billion BOI loan facility on account of inability to procure certificates of occupancy and other requirements.

Dr Jack expressed the readiness of the bank to advise government on the right policies to stimulate industrial and economic development of the state.

The visiting BOI team also had its Group Head, Strategic Communications, Dr. Seun Olagunju; the Regional Manager, South South, Mr. Irabor Pacqueens, and the State Manager, Mr. Ojiegbe Uchechukeu.

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