In a statement from the Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, confirmed that the ministry has completed recruitment exercise for the executive management team of the Development Bank of Nigeria and has formally applied for the issuance of its operational licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is expected imminently.”

The DBN was conceived in 2014, but its take-off was fraught with delays under the previous administration.

The statement further disclosed that the DBN will be access to $1.3bn (N396.5bn), which has been jointly provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank and the French Development Agency.

The statement stated that the DBN was also finalising agreements with the European Investment Bank, adding that its operations would not in any way result in the extinction of the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture or any other existing development bank.

It added, “The operations of the DBN is clearly distinct from other development banks as it is focused on supporting small businesses defined by size and not by sectors.

“The DBN will provide loans to all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, services and other industries not currently served by the existing development banks, thereby filling an important gap in the provision of finance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.”

As a wholesale bank, the statement explained that the DBN would lend to microfinance banks, which will then give medium to long-term loans to the MSMEs.

The MSMEs contribute about 48.47 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products but have access to only about five per cent of available lending opportunities from the Deposit Money Banks.

The statement added that the influx of additional capital from the DBN would lower borrowing rates, adding that the longer tenure of the loans would provide the required flexibility in the management of cash flows.

According to the report, the Federal Government has equally applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the issuance of an operational licence to DBN in preparatory to its commencement of operations.

This, it added, would give businesses the opportunity to make capital improvements and acquire equipment or supplies.

“As the economy diversifies, the growth of the MSME sector will have a positive impact on the economy through employment generation, wealth creation and economic growth,” it added.