By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has revealed that the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) will soon commence.
Speaking with newsmen in Washington DC on the outcome of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meetings, Mrs Adeosun said an agreement on the DBN has already been concluded.
She disclosed further that the new bank, which would bridge the gap between the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other commercial banks in Nigeria, will kick off operations with a total of $1.3 billion provided by the World Bank.
The Minister also explained that DBN would serve as a platform to provide funding needs of the micro, small medium enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.
The DBN is being supported by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
“Agreement was also reached on the final steps for the take-off of the Development Bank of Nigeria which had been stopped due to some issues, we have resolved all those issues, the recruitment process has now been finalised with management team put in place and this will release $1.3 billion which is aimed at supporting our SMEs and SMEs are part of the engine that will spur the growth of our economy, SME lending at low rates will now be facilitated through the DBN and we are ready to resolve the outstanding issues,” Mrs Adeosun told journalists in the US.
According to her, the Nigerian delegation met Fitch, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s in order to update them on developments in the Nigerian economy.
“We met with the rating agencies. As you know they recently had some rating actions on Nigeria. We met with Moody, Fitch and S&P had interactive session with them updated on our economic plans and giving them the picture of what we are doing, overall , it was very positive engagement we have some takeaway and we remain very confident that that the strategy we are pursuing will result in some quick recovery to the Nigerian economy.
“We had validation of our economic strategy. That is, our strategy to transform Nigeria from consumption driven to and investment driven model and while in the short term, there has been some pain and some dislocation, the long term economic outlook for Nigeria remains confident.
“We had a number of specific bilateral meetings with UK Department for International Development, the US treasury and other partners,” she said.