The Bauchi Investment Corporation (BIC) Limited is committed to investment in the designated priority sectors of the national economy and in particular areas where Bauchi State has factor endowments. It has promoted and supports viable ventures in agriculture, agro-allied products, manufacturing industry, property development, the establishment of financial institutions and general commerce.
As a matter of policy, the BIC restricts its shareholding in one single project to a ceiling of 25%. This is to encourage participation by private investors and interested government agencies especially local governments. And in order to underline their commitment to a project, technical partners, where applicable, will be required to also participate in the equity. In some special circumstances and with the consent of other shareholders, the BIC could exceed its laid down 25% equity participation limit in order to see a project through or to hold the stake in trust for investors coming in later.
The basic considerations in evaluating any project will include its financial viability, employment potential, import substitution prospects, availability of raw materials locally or a sourcing programme, minimal foreign exchange outlay, maximum value added and avenues for development or transfer of technology.
The BIC makes investments in both self – initiated projects and those brought by clients by either investing in equity or granting loans or both. As a development finance institution, the BIC has access to foreign loan finance for on – lending to deserving projects. Such loans are, however, invariably restricted to machinery procurement only.
The Investment Department, drawing on the expertise of its team of investment analysts identifies and appraises project and, if found viable, advises investment in them. For projects that required foreign technology, the BIC scouts for and obtains suitable Technical Partners. In such cases agreements to be entered into are subjected a thorough scrutiny especially those aspects dealing with foreign exchange, patents, licences, management fees, training, staffing, etc. Furthermore, once the viability of a project has been established, the BIC sets about securing the required land and at the same time incorporates a company that will implement the project.
As mentioned earlier, the BIC usually takes a maximum of 25% shareholding in the incorporated company while the rest is offered for subscription to interested indigenous investors and technical partners, where applicable. Once a group of interested shareholders is identified, prospective shareholders meeting is called during which distribution of shareholdings will be agreed upon. Subsequently, a board of Directors is chosen among the investors in according to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company. From this point, the board takes responsibility for the realization of the project, in close cooperation with the BIC. The BIC continues to monitor the progress of the Company through its representation on the Board or Management and any required assistance is promptly rendered until the new company is fully operational on its feet. In certain situations, the BIC undertakes projects on a wholly owned basis. Such instances are, however, rare, and only in very special circumstance.
The BIC accepts project proposals from private entrepreneurs. Such proposals are subsequently appraised and if found viable, equity investments are made in them. The BIC continues to render assistance to the project from the stage it is presented to until it is fully implemented after which the usual supervisory activities continues.