FG establishes devt bank to tranform small-scale businesses
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday officially presided over the establishment of a new financial institution aimed at providing financial life-line to Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Besides empowering Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with long tern loans characterized by generous moratorium, the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is expected to provide MSMEs with training, easy access to loan facilities and increased access to markets.
President Jonathan, while performing the official launching at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday, said the initiative was part of his administration’s move to expand the public-private sector partnership with a view to opening up the nation’s business horizon to serious competitiveness.
To institutionalise international best practices, the new DBN has share capitals from well known international development financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of Germany and the Development Bank of France.
The establishment of the DBN, according to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy/Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was a joint effort of the Federal Government and some international financial institutions aimed at addressing the acute under funding of the MSMEs, which is a component of the nation’s economy.
Indeed, statistics from the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Federal Government agency responsible for coordinating the small scale business activities in Nigeria, indicate that there are 17 million MSMEs in Nigeria employing about 32 million people, while contributing over 45 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Jonathan used the opportunity to formally present a booklet tagged “Jonathan’s Next Four Years: My Vision for a Nigeria that works for All”.
The document, a product of his campaign organization, highlighted what would be the focus of his administration in the next four years, if re-elected into office on March 28. An excerpt from the document reads: “The future I see and work for is for a Nigeria that works for all. I see a Nigeria where mothers and children do not die due to lack of medical attention, a Nigeria where no child goes to bed hungry or is out of school because of family circumstances.
In the future of Nigeria that I see, the young and the youth will receive quality and sound education that provides them access to job opportunities and a higher living standards, a Nigeria where the elderly have access to medical care they require and life expectancy is significantly higher than it is today.”
According to the President, the launch of the DBN represented a defining milestone in his administration’s efforts to empower more micro, small and medium enterprises across Nigeria.