AfDB: DBN’s Role in MSMEs Sector Extremely Important to Us

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Ndubuisi Francis and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has stated that the role of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) in the micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) sector was extremely important to the pan-African bank.

AfDB Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, Pierre Guislain said the pan-African bank was a founding partner of the DBN as well as one of the lenders to the bank, noting that the newly-established wholesale finance institution started off well.

He added that its role in the MSMEs sector in Nigeria was considered extremely important by the AfDB. Guislain, who paid a courtesy call on the DBN headquarters in Abuja, said: “The overall strategy of the African Development Bank is something that we want to support as much as we can. It’s much more effective for us to support micro, small and medium enterprises through local institutions. DBN is a new institution and we are one of the parents so it’s off to a very good start.

“The start has been excellent and we are looking forward to processes that require for all of us to tie loose ends .It’s good that DBN has started lending operations and it feels there’s a critical need in Nigeria to support SMEs in a very effective manner. In supporting DBN, first of all, we have created the institution; we helped set it up. Secondly, we invested over $50 million in equity and about $450 million in loans. It’s a very big commitment and on the loan part it will be continued as planned,” Guislain said.

In his remarks while welcoming the AfDB chief, the Chairman, Development Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Shehu Yahaya said that DBN had begun lending activities with three micro finance institutions, including LAPO, FORTIS, NPF, adding that other financial institutions as well as commercial banks would be involved.

He said: “The federal government of Nigeria in close partnership with international development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group established the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to provide sustainable financing through eligible participating financial institutions (PFIs) for on-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for the development of that segment.”