Potential heads of Nigeria’s proposed development bank, DBN, have been interviewed, the Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun has said.
Mrs. Adeosun, who did not disclose the names of the interviewed candidates said interviews held during the weekend for candidates into the positions of Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. She said the bank is expected to take off by January 2017 with a $1.3 billion seed funding from the World Bank and affiliates of the group.
Fresh from the 2016 International Monetary Fund / World Bank meetings, Mrs. Adeosun said Nigeria received positive responses at the meeting from investors who were interested in partnering with to execute the projects.
Nigeria was able to secure the commitment of various international investors to specific requests by her delegation to the meetings, she said.
The minister, who was guest on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, programme on Monday, said commitments were received on specific areas of the country’s economy in line with the economic agenda of the present administration.
Apart from assurances by representatives of other developed countries to share economic intelligence on how certain challenges in the Nigerian economy could be tackled, Mrs. Adeosun said commitment also came on infrastructure development.
Other areas the country received assurances of support, she said, were housing and power projects.
“The establishment of DBN is very important. It is going to provide money for the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). For Nigeria, it is really important, because 50 per cent of the country’s GDP is made up of small companies.
“These are small size, petty traders. So, finding how to make money available to them is really an important way of getting out of the challenges we currently face. So, getting DBN off ground is a big priority for us, and we have set ourselves a very tight deadline,” she said.
The minister also raised the prospect of mutual agreements between the federal and state governments over some of the World Bank-assisted projects.
“There are a number of projects that have been stalled. Most of the projects, which are health related, she said, were at state level, pointing out that government would report to the National Executive Council, where state governors usually attend, and the quarterly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation.
“There is a $500 million for irrigation projects held up, because the counterpart funding, which is Nigeria’s contribution, just $4 million, hasn’t been paid,” she said.
On the status of the Public Private Partnership arrangement being sought, Mrs. Adeosun said government must get to a point where such partnership was working effectively, particularly with technical help from some other governments.