BoI-Dangote Fund to create one million jobs - Aganga

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said that the N5bn being provided under the BoI-Dangote Group partnership is capable of generating one million jobs.

Aganga made the observation at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Dangote group and the Bank of Industry in Lagos on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the N5bn is being provided jointly by the Dangote Group and BoI.

The fund is specifically to be disbursed as loans to small and medium-scale enterprises.

Aganga said that he foresaw the creation of over one million jobs from the fund, adding that the funds would increase access of small businesses to loans.

The minister said that unemployment rate in the country was about 21 per cent and that joblessness was prevalent in urban centres.

"As we all know, the level of unemployment in the nation remains unacceptably high, with the National Bureau of Statistics putting the figure at 21.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2011,'' he said.

The minister said that unemployment was not only peculiar to Nigeria but was a global problem, which every nation must tackle.

He described the President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, as a great ambassador of the country and commended the company's effort to give back to the society.

The minister said that Dangote, being the Chairman of the Federal Government's Committee on Job Creation, had acted well by working in line with government's efforts to fast-track job creation.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, said that the MOU was the first of its kind in the country.

"There are several partnership agreements between BOI and government agencies in terms of funds.

"But I would like to place this on the record that this is the first private sector initiative in support of one of the Federal Government's cardinal goals of job creation,'' he said.

He said that the initiative conformed to CBN's efforts to grow the economy through the real sector.







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