The Bank of Industry (BoI) has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Small and Medium Scale businesses (SMEs) in the country.
This is coming as LSG Sky Chefs in partnership with Things Remembered opened a state-of-the-art in-flight catering services at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Monday.
Speaking at the ceremony, Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, said the bank is proud be associated with the novel, landmark opening; it’s the first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa.
It is a Sky Chef Kitchen that enables local production of in-flight catering services, which means all of the food packaging, refreshment are done in the facility.
Pitan who was represented by Deputy General Manager, SMEs, South, Ayo Bajomo, said: “It is the first of its kind and it is in partnership with global brand and am sure it will go places.
BoI is proud to be with the project. It’s between aviation services, tourism and overall development of the Nigerian industrial space.
We would continue to look for partnerships like this that projects Nigeria’s image that Nigeria is capable of doing these things if and when the right partnerships are struck.”
Bajomo said the bank sought for businesses that have high impact, such as employment generation, import substitution, which is a major outlook from LSG Sky Chefs’ projects.
“A lot of import substitution, things that used to be provided, produced and packaged abroad, all in-flight menus are now certified and being packaged within Nigeria, which creates a lot of job employment, create back value chain development because all of the inputs from the greenhouse production of the items used to other farming inputs are all sourced locally.
In all ramifications, it meets and exceeds the criteria for lending to SMEs.
“We have partnered with them on this project with long term facility.
From our discussion we know they are planning to have other locations within the country and across Africa.
We will be there to support them because we provide patient finance, which means right pricing and long tenure and any other thing that goes with favorable pricing the bank is able to offer,” he said.
The facility which is 100 per cent Halal and designed to produce up to 10,000 meals a day and also features a bakery and laundry comes under the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCo) Free Trade Zone.