Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday announced the government’s plan to soon establish a new Development Financial Institution (DFI) in the country under the name Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN).
Buhari explained that the establishment of the bank would strengthen development efforts in the country and sustain government’s policy to fund productive industrial activities of SMEs.
It is expected that the proposed DFI would complement the activities of the Bank of Industry (BoI) in driving industrialization through capacity building and access to affordable funding.
Addressing the German-Nigeria Business Forum in Berlin, President Buhari said the bank, when fully operational, will support small and medium enterprises in the country, by improving their access to financing.
“Our ambitions of creating a diversified and inclusive economy in Nigeria can only be achieved by having a mix of small, medium and large businesses.
“This is why we worked with the German development agency, KFW, in designing the Development Bank of Nigeria which will support the small and medium size enterprises both financially and technically to ensure they take their rightful place in the industrialisation value chain.
“I am pleased to announce that Development Bank of Nigeria will be taking off soon and should be a game changer in our economic diversification plans,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who described Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria from Germany as modest, urged prospective investors at the gathering to go beyond the expressions of interest and make binding commitments for trade, investments and industry in the key priority sectors of Agriculture, infrastructure, solid minerals and digital economy.
He said Nigeria which recorded a trade volume of 2.96 billion Dollars with Germany in 2015, still had a great deal of unexploited potential and room to diversify its exports to Germany and increase overall trade volumes.
According to the President, trade relations between both countries primarily take the form of oil and gas exports from Nigeria, machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts, telecommunications technology and chemical products in the other direction.
“Nigeria has remained a country of potential. Now we are in a hurry to develop and realize that potential.
“Nigeria is not yet where we would like it to be, but I am confident that the Government and people of Nigeria are determined to change and be where we would like Nigeria to be.
“A major economy, that is subject to good governance on the basis of the rule of law and constitutional order and a responsible member of the international community,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who had earlier met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, told the business gathering that with the successes recorded in the fight against terrorism and the administrations resolute commitment to the war against corruption, Nigeria is open for business and broader relationship with Germany.
This post first appeared HERE