James Emejo in Abuja
The Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, has called on development financial institutions (DFIs) in the country to increase funding support for businesses in order to enhance the pace of growth and development.
In a meeting with chief executive of DFIs in Abuja, he said it was high time the operators played their role in creating a conducive atmosphere for achieving a sustainable real sector development.
Pitan, who is the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Development Finance Institutions (ANDFIs), however, lamented that the body had been quiet in the past seven years, a development which he said, was not good for the financial institutions.
He also urged members to be more committed to the activities of the association.
He said the meeting was to strategise on how the association would meet once or twice in a year, while assuring them of an office space in the BoI building in Abuja, which can sit a minimum of six staff including the secretariat.
The BoI MD said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also had interest in ANDFI and wanted it to play a more active role in the continental association.
He noted that South Africa provided Chairman for AADFI before handing over to Botswana, East Africa, adding that while North Africa appeared to be active, the West African body had shown less representation.
This, he said made it imperative for Nigeria to play a vital role in ensuring good representation.
He added: “It is therefore, a good time to begin repositioning ANDFI for better collaborations with both local and international community.
“Repositioning of ANDFI has both local and international advantages hence the need for Nigeria to get involved.”
He gave some of the benefits of the association to include raising a common voice of DFIs to influence CBN circulars and guidelines and also other government policies for operational efficiency.
Other benefits are to speak in one voice on matters of common interest and encourage mutual assistance and investment co-operation among the DFIs.
According to him, the association was inaugurated on October 15, 1982, with 15 foundational members, with the primary objective to create a forum for DFIs in the country to discuss and exchange ideas on issues of common interests while providing a platform for members to cooperate in areas of investment, finance and capacity building.