BY CHARLES ABUEDE
A slight drop in total assets to N1.71 trillion appears not to have stopped Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) from maintaining its traditional commitment to grow local industries in the country. A significant boost in its loans and advances to customers saw a rise from N748.9 billion in 2020 to N779.29 billion in 2021, the develop finance banking group disclosed in financial information published on its website.
Bank of Industry said its support for local industries in 2021 was on a consistent level with its mandate to transform Nigeria’s industrial sector by providing long-term financing and counter-cyclical loans diversified across several industries such as agro-processing, gender businesses and renewable energy among others.
The bank said it promoted the financial inclusion drive for micro and small enterprises across the country through the support for the expansion of over three million micro and small scale enterprises, creating over seven million jobs through the process within the space of five years up to 2021.
Consequently, to expand its capital base in the bid to meet customers’ needs, as well as contribute to the economic growth of Nigeria, the bank successfully made its grand entrance into the international market where it raised about $3.8 billion in the last four years.
The foray into the international debt capital market saw the bank mop up a $750 million syndicated medium-term loan in 2018 (now fully repaid); a €1 billion syndicated loan in March 2020; a $1 billion syndicated loan in December 2020; and in addition, a €750 million Senior Eurobond (the first by any African national DFI) in February 2022.
In other financial reporting areas, BoI reported a profit before tax (PBT) of N62.28 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021, 75 percent higher than the 2020 profit of N35.54 billion, while the net profit for the year rose significantly to N53.41 billion in 2021 after discounting for tax, compared to the N31.59 billion recorded in the prior year. This shows the bank’s unrelenting demonstration of resilience in the face of macro-economic headwinds, recording growth, amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BoI group also saw its total equity grow significantly to N384.84 billion for the year 2021, rising above the equity position of the bank a year before which printed N336.48 billion. Similarly, in its balance sheets, the bank’s investor confidence was highly reflected after the bank saw its total assets more than double with over 100 percent growth to N1.7 trillion as of December 2021, from N713 billion in 2017.
The bank’s performance over the years has also been recognised in the favourable credit ratings from global rating agencies. Recently, Fitch Ratings upgraded the bank’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘AAA (nga)’ from ‘AA+(nga)’, and affirmed the bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B’ with a Stable Outlook.