Multilateral agencies renew commitment to Nigeria
Adeosun, Emefiele unlock $1.3b World Bank DBN SME fund
A fresh hope for foreign investment inflow has been raised for the country as multilateral institutions renewed bilateral engagements.
The intense consultations by both the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also opened a deal to improve Nigeria’s low rate of performance and disbursement of its portfolios.
Already, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, United States Treasury, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), multilateral investment Credit Guarantee Agency (MIGA), International Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), have renewed their commitment to Nigeria.
For the World Bank and the development partners, the newly formed Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has already received a seed funding of $1.3 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) focused lending, as many of them are traders that do not qualify for Bank of Industry (BoI) support.
Adeosun said: “The focus of DBN is SMEs that would disburse low cost loans. We have made a lot of progress now and ready to take off. We have advertised for the management position and when appointed, that would be able to complement the work and build synergy with CBN intervention. We need to get the money into the hands of smaller business that make 50 per cent of our GDP.
“For the foreign loans, we are through with the IDB, ready to go to the Eurobond. It is just to appoint the parties. It is particularly the issue of pricing, not the volume.
“We are going to look into how we can refinance some of our existing naira debt into the international market to take advantage of the low international rate now. This would reduce the pressure on the domestic market. We have spoken with a lot of lenders and the market is really very attractive now.”
Also onboard the new bilateral deals include $500 million irrigation project, $500 million northeast social safety net, hosting a high level workshop for power projects with World Bank specialists leading the JICA-led Argo fishery and Jebba Hydro projects and Canadian technical assistance offer for Private-Public Partnership.
Besides the investment support, the minister noted that the DFID and the U.S Treasury, also agreed to help reverse the trend of illicit financial flows, which had seen significant money flow out of Nigeria.
Perhaps, as a way to clear the coast for international fund raising, the minister and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, engaged the rating agencies – Moodys’, Fitch and S&P in an interactive session and updated them on the country’s economic plans.
It was very positive the engagement would result in some quick recovery to the Nigerian economy.