05 October 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government has urged the European Union to invest in the proposed Wholesale Development Bank through the union’s development financing outfit, the European Development Bank.
A statement from the Finance Ministry on Sunday quoted the Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, to have made the plea while receiving a delegation of the European Union led by the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion.
Yuguda who also revealed that the bid has raised significant interest among global funding agencies explained that the World Bank had pledged $500m while other development oriented financial institutions like the African Development Bank have also committed some funds for the take off of
The minister explained that the aim of setting up the bank was to boost the growth of the real sector by ensuring long term financing and drastically cutting down interest rate.
The Federal Government, he added, would soon be embarking on a road-show to some specific countries to raise more capital for the bank
He said: “We are developing a whole sale development bank in Nigeria. The idea of the bank is to give long term financing to SMEs and increase their source of borrowing.
“We did a study of the informal sector which showed that the sector constituted 45 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.
“We have a firm believe that if we are able to increase their access to funds especially long term, that will go a long way in increasing the GDP of this country and integrating them into the formal sector of the economy.”
The EU envoy had earlier hinted that EIB is already well established in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal as a development financier would like to
boost their activities in Nigeria by funding long term projects.
– The Punch