Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s minister of finance, says the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) of Nigeria must be ready by January 2017.
While stating that she and her team hd given themselves very tight timelines, Adeosun said there had to be some urgency in getting the economy back to growth.
She spoke about Nigeria’s history of stalling development projects, saying it needed to change to deliver much needed growth.
Speaking to NTA on Monday, Adeosun said her team was removing development bottlenecks and already working on the proceeds of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington DC.
“DBN was conceived about three years ago but hadn’t gone anywhere; this is 2016. We announced it and when we got there, we said, what are the problems?
“There were some bottlenecks, and fortunately we’ve been able to solve them, and on Saturday, we were on a panel interviewing an MD and CFO for the DBN, this thing must take off by January. Let’s have some urgency.
“DBN is very important because it is going to provide money for MSMEs; and for Nigeria, that is really important, because 50 percent of our GDP is from small, medium-sized companies, petty traders, so finding a way to get money towards them is a really important part of getting out of the challenges that we currently face.
“Getting Nigeria’s development bank off the ground is a big priority for us, and we have set for ourselves very tight deadlines.”
Adeosun said one of the successes recorded at the meetings was the progress of a $500m irrigation project, that was held up “because counterpart funding, just $4m hadn’t been paid”.
“So whilst we were there, we called the minister of water resources who said he just released the money,” she said.
“The world bank people were every excited, because it means that $500m irrigation project is going to improve our agriculture, is going to create jobs, and there are quite a few takeaways that are positive.”