Nigerian development bank set to open

13 Jan 17

The Nigerian government looks set to “imminently” launch its new development bank, which will focus on providing finance for micro, small and medium-sized firms.


The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) will have access to $1.3bn in capital secured from a number of development partners.

The Nigerian government said today (Friday 13 January) the bank was ready to “take off” as its executive management team had been selected and an operating licence was expected from the country’s central bank “imminently”.

In a statement, the government said the bank would boost the Nigerian economy by lowering borrowing rates and providing longer-term loans for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Despite accounting for almost 50% of the country’s GDP, MSMEs have access to around only 5% of lending from the country’s deposit money banks.

The statement said this would provide them with flexibility in cash flow management and the opportunity to “make capital improvements” and acquire equipment or supplies.

“As the economy diversifies, the growth of the MSME sector will have a positive impact on the economy through employment generation, wealth creation and economic growth,” it stated.

The idea of the DBN was originally conceived in 2014, but its creation has been fraught with delays. The government said that president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had sought to iron out these issues by 2017 after inheriting the initiative two years ago.

The bank is intended to complement the work of other Nigerian commercial banks, which focus on industry or agriculture. The government said it is distinct because it focuses on smaller businesses and will do business in sectors that are not served by the country’s other development banks.

Its $1.3bn in capital was provided by the World Bank, German development bank KfW, the African Development Bank and French development agency Agence Française de Development. 

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