The Bank of Industry (BoI) and Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank have so far received only six applications from prospective beneficiaries of the $200 million (about N30 billion) special fund by the federal government dedicated to the development of the entertainment sector. Since the announcement of the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Industry Stimulation loans scheme last year, as part of efforts to boost capacity building in the country’s entertainment industry, it was gathered that the two banks mandated to manage the fund have been inundated with enquiries on guidelines for accessing it, as well as proposals from interested applicants. The fund is meant to enhance industry capacity in the areas of film production, film export market development, and proper distribution network and system; development of distribution infrastructure and platforms; development and production platforms and facilities; acquisition of hi-tech production equipment and ancillary facilities, as well as refinancing of existing projects to help save jobs and create new jobs. Appraisal and processing Though the applications are currently undergoing appraisal and processing, Chinedu Morgan, who represented the BOI managing director, Evelyn Oputu, told NEXT several proposals have been adjudged below the set standard and quality. He did not disclose the names of the applicants. “Since the announcement of the initiative, six applications have been received so far. We have commenced the process of appraisal. We are at the advanced stage of processing the applications. But, there are still some barriers. Some of the practitioners do not know how to put the ideas together. We need to address the issue of how to assist them make their projects viable,” Mr. Morgan said. To help prospective beneficiaries come up with bankable proposals, Mr. Morgan said the BOI and NEXIM are working with the Lagos Business School (LBS) to develop capacity, particularly by helping to do proper due diligence and bankable feasibility study, as well as assess the capability of each applicant to identify areas requiring assistance to enable them come up with financing models suitable for their respective enterprise. Similarly, last week, the minister of finance, Olusegun Aganga, disclosed that the LBS is also collaborating with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and other 22 enterprise development centres across the country to provide business skills training to improve the managerial capability of entrepreneurs. Accessing the loan On the criteria for accessing the loan, Mr. Morgan, who said the application process has been harmonised with NEXIM, advised interested persons to download the forms from their websites, while they are expected to forward the completed applications to the BOI offices in the six geopolitical zones, including Abuja, Kaduna, Bauchi, Lagos, Akure, Asaba, and Aba. The completed applications are to be supported with a copy of the projects brief, feasibility study, and certified copies of company’s certificate of incorporation, memorandum and Articles of Association, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Forms 2 and 7, indicating the names of the shareholders and directors. Other documents to be attached to the applications include audited statement of accounts or cash flows; budgets or bill of quantities; proforma invoices; completion bond; proprietary rights; collateral security, properly patented; trademarked and copyrighted intellectual property assets or sales agreement and evidence of contracts handled. Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that there is an ongoing working arrangement with various state governments to establish about 20 industrial clusters in the country to help the growth of Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs). “Government is making good progress in its bid to establish 20 industrial clusters and job centres in the country. While we have gone far in our discussion with some states, others are yet to come on board. “But we expect them to do so very soon based on discussions we have had so far for them to provide infrastructures necessary to make them work,” the minister said
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