The Nigerian government has launched a national development bank aimed at unlocking access to finance for the country’s estimated 17 million small and medium size businesses. The billion dollar bank, which is backed by international donors including the African Development Bank and the World Bank, aims to support 200,000 businesses in its first five years and build on the 32 million jobs currently generated by small and medium sized businesses.
AGI has been providing the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and her team in their efforts to establish the first Development Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the Bank President Goodluck Jonathan said:
“MSMEs form the backbone of the Nigerian economy; the men and women who own and operate them are true reflections of the strong Nigerian spirit of enterprise and the vigorous work and ethics that define us as a nation and a people.
Our recent GDP re-basing exercise confirmed the importance of MSMEs sector to our national economy.
Currently Nigeria has over 17 million of these businesses, which contribute over 45 percent of our GDP and employ about 66 per cent of our labour force.”