Nigeria’s minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun,yesterday disclosed that the proposed Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) would commence operation in January 2017.
The minister dropped this hint in Abuja while providing details of the outcome of the 2016 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank that was held in Washington DC, the U.S. capital.
Adeosun said Nigeria’s delegation to the meeting was able to secure the commitment of the World Bank to expedite action on the transfer of the sum of $1.3billion being seed money it promised the Nigerian government for urgent takeoff of the bank.
“Nigeria was able to secure the commitment of the World Bank and its group with the pledge to release $1.3billion seed money without delay,” she said in an interview with NTA yesterday.
The minister disclosed that her ministry was already shopping for top management officers for the bank, adding that interviews were conducted for candidates into the positions of managing director and chief operating officer for the bank last weekend.
“Between last Saturday and Sunday, we were on a panel, interviewing managing director and chief operating officer for the DBN as it must take off by January 2017.
“It is very important because it is going to provide money for the micro, small and medium enterprises and for Nigeria, that is really important because 50 per cent of our GDP is made up of small companies. These are small- sized petty traders, so finding how to make money available to them is really an important way of getting out of the challenges we currently face. So getting DBN off ground is a big priority for us and we have set ourselves a very tight deadline,” she explained.
Adeosun, who further explained that her team was able to secure a profound commitment of international investors as a result of the specific requests presented by the Nigerian delegation to the meetings, specifically said that the team got the commitment of the two Bretton Woods Institutions and cooperation of representatives of other developed countries who were ready to share economic intelligence on how certain challenges in the Nigerian economy could be tackled.
Stating that her delegation was able to achieve significant results from the meeting of the multilateral institutions, the minister said “we took our infrastructure needs to them. Not only did they agree to support us, some of them were ready to share their experience and expertise with us.”
In a statement signed by the special assistant to the minister on media, Festus Akanbi, Adeosun said there was the need for a mutual agreement between the federal and the state governments over some of the World Bank assisted projects with a focus to reviewing some of them.