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Nigeria: European Investment Bank, African Development Bank to support private sector investment

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THE European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank have agreed to support the creation of the new Development Bank of Nigeria to strengthen lending for business and agriculture investment in the country. The European Investment Bank has finalized a US $20-million equity stake in the new financing institution, alongside US $50-million equity participation from the African Development Bank.

The Development Bank of Nigeria has been created by the Federal Government of Nigeria to address financing challenges hindering private sector investment in the country. The Bank is called to play an important and catalytic role in providing funding and risk sharing facilities to micro, small and medium enterprises as well as small corporates.

“The Development Bank of Nigeria will overcome the funding gap in the micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises space and help businesses unlock opportunities across Nigeria. DBN’s ambition is strengthened by the financial and technical support of international partners, including the European Investment Bank and African Development Bank. The new institution builds on international experience and uses a business model that has demonstrated proven success to enhance private-sector investment across Africa and around the world where other financing options are inadequate or absent,” said Tony Okpanachi, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Nigeria.

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“Private sector businesses are critical to the development of the Nigerian economy as they possess huge potential for employment generation and output diversification. Nevertheless, there has been under-performance of these businesses and this has undermined their contribution to economic growth. Among the issues affecting their performance, the shortage of finance, particularly investment finance, occupies a very central position. The Development Bank of Nigeria is expected to contribute to mobilizing significant long-term financing to an important yet underserved sector with high development potential,” said Stefan Nalletamby, Director of the Financial Sector Development Department at the African Development Bank.

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“New private sector investment is crucial to create jobs and enable business to expand and limited access to long-term financing holds back economic growth. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the new Development Bank of Nigeria to strengthen private-sector investment in Africa’s largest economy. We look forward to continued close cooperation with Nigerian and international partners to ensure that once fully operational the new Development Bank of Nigeria can help harness the country’s economic potential,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“The European Union is committed to supporting private-sector investment in Nigeria. The new backing for the Development Bank of Nigeria by both the European Investment Bank, the bank of the European Union and the African Development Bank, with 13 EU member state shareholders, will make a clear contribution to tackling the lack of access to credit by entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. With more investment, we hope to promote a vibrant economy and stimulate growth, employment and increase opportunities, especially for youth,” said Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Addressing the investment gap holding back private-sector investment

At present, new investment essential for companies to expand and create jobs is hindered by limited access to commercial banks. It is estimated by the Development Bank of Nigeria that only 5% of the 37 million entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria that contribute to 50% of GDP can access credit in the financial system.

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Building on broad international support

Other international financial institutions including the World Bank, Germany’s KfW and the French Agence française de développement (AFD) will also support the new bank alongside backing from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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Oyo Shops For Partners To Revamp Paper Mill, Cashew Processing Company, Others

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Oyo State government has started looking for corporate bodies and private investors capable of partnering with the State to revamp some of the moribund investment companies so as to boost economy and provide employment opportunities for its youths.

 

This disclosure was made on Thursday by the Executive assistant to governor Seyi Makinde on Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnership, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi when he embarked upon an ‘on the spot assessment’ of most of the abandoned locations of the companies around the State.

 

Among the locations visited by Ogunwuyi and his team from the State’s Bureau of Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnership ( BIPP/PPP) were the Pacesetter Asphalt and Quarry Plant, Ijaye, Ibadan, Agbowo Shopping Complex, opposite the University of Ibadan, Nigeria Marble Mining Company, Igbeti.

 

Also visited were Eruwa Cashew Farm Plantation, Eruwa, Cashew Nuts Processing Company, Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State Paper Mill Warehouse, Oluyole, Ibadan, Conpole Nigeria Ltd, Ibadan, Trans Motel, Jericho, Trans Wonderland (formerly Trans Amusement Park), Ibadan and some Manor Houses in notable areas in the State.

 

Hon. Ogunwuyi hinted that the State governor had directed that the bureau should embark on the assessment exercise as the State was in a hurry to bring in investors to partner government towards bringing back the companies to what they used to be in the era of the old military administration and the late Chief Bola Ige.

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“This assessment exercise is as a result of a directive from the governor that we have to know their conditions so as to know how to shop for capable and efficient investors that can make a turn-around of these companies to yield profit for business, government revenue as well as provide multiple job opportunities.

 

“Most of these companies were created in the late 70s and early 80s by military administrations and the Bola Ige regime, but were later abandoned by successive governments till date. We cannot be paying lip service to the problem of low IGR and high unemployment when we have these assets wasting away. That is why the governor would rather partner with local and foreign investors to bring them back and have a new economic dawn in Oyo State.”

 

Governor seyi Makinde, while addressing audience at his inauguration on the 29th May at Liberty Stadium, assured the people of Oyo State of his administration’s readiness to make a turn-around of the State’s commercial status by partnering with strong business interests within and outside the country to grow the State’s economy and boost its internally-generated revenue as well as provide jobs for its teeming youths.

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Makinde spends 74 hours with state officials drawing plan to transform agriculture

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IITA, AfDB salute Makinde’s vision

At a retreat in Cotonou, Republic of Benin to chart a path for transforming agriculture, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde set a record in governance, by spending more than 72 hours with his state officials designing an implementation plan for Oyo state agribusiness.

The governor also promised officials of the state that the administration will give agriculture the necessary ‘political will’ to play its role and transform the economic fortunes of the state.

“I want to assure all the participants that Oyo State will provide the political will needed to make the state the agribusiness hub of Nigeria,” Gov Makinde said at the retreat that was facilitated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, 15-19 August.

Gov Makinde pledged to attract more private investments to agriculture by providing an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the state. He said the state would ensure agribusiness-friendly policies that would boost investor confidence.

Since assumption of office on 29 May 2019, Gov Makinde has pledged to transform the narrative of agriculture with the view to making it the pillar of the state’s economic development. The retreat provided an opportunity for the Governor to unveil his vision for agriculture in the state.

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Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery commended the governor for demonstrating an uncommon leadership style by participating in all the sessions of the three-day retreat.

“I have never seen such a commitment from a governor… and I believe the document coming out of this retreat will help the state to achieve the vision of an agribusiness hub for Nigeria,” he added.

Dr. Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-Allied division with the African Development Bank said the commitment of the state to agriculture was a step in the right direction.

“Let me also commend you (the governor of Oyo state) for organizing this very important meeting, and participating fully in it to have a vision and an implementation plan for agribusiness in the state,” he added via skype.

Dr. Fregene urged the state government to adopt the agri-business approach to unlock the potential of agriculture in the state.

“For Oyo state to move forward in agriculture, you must treat agriculture as a business,” he explained.

According to the AfDB director, the Bank would be willing to support the state in its quest to transform agriculture.

The retreat had four sessions comprising: Developing a vision for the state in agriculture, identifying the obstacles to the vision, developing strategic actions to deal with the obstacles to the vision, and developing an implementation plan.

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Adebowale Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture gave thumbs up to the retreat, adding that recommendations from the retreat would help the state to achieve its vision of becoming an agribusiness hub.

Makinde appoints Owoseni, former Lagos, Benue Commissioner of Police, Special Adviser.

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Bola Ige complex wants to reclaim lost glory, as Oyo govt reveals plan

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As part of the efforts of the Oyo State Government in creating conducive environment for businesses within the State to thrive, the present administration has revealed its plan in restoring Bola Ige International Business Complex, Gbagi, Ibadan back to international standard as provided in the master plan of the market.

 

This was contained in a communique issued after a stakeholders’ meeting held recently at the market between the market leaders and the task force committee set up by Governor Seyi Makinde to restructure the business complex.

 

The Chairman of the task force committee, Sanitarian Olusoji Oyewole in his briefing, assured the market men and women that the State Government remained committed to providing them the basic facilities that would promote the economic activities in the market.

 

“The Oyo State Government under the leadership of Engineer Seyi Makinde has deemed it fit to ensure that Bola Ige International Business Complex regains its lost age-long status as a major hub of wholesale textile materials, servicing both neighboring, far and distant States in Nigeria,” he said.

 

“The intention of the administration in setting up this task force is not to witch-hunt anyone in the market but rather towards seeking their cooperation and support for proper waste dumping of refuse, hygienic toilet facilities,

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large number of parking lots for convenience and easy access to the market as well as considerable open spaces in construction of approved buildings.”

 

He, thereafter urged the market community to keep to the environmental laws and town planning regulations of the State, noting that the market stood to benefit if commercial activities were carried out in clean and serene environment.

 

In his remarks, the representative of the elders’ forum in the market, Chief Adebayo expressed appreciation to the State Government and further pledged support of the market community towards the actualization of restoring the market to international standard.

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