President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday disclosed that a new bank, Development Bank of Nigeria, would soon begin operations to strengthen the government’s economic diversification programme.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke while addressing the German-Nigeria Business Forum in Berlin.
Buhari was quoted as saying that the bank, when fully operational, would support small and medium enterprises in the country, by improving their access to financing.
“Our ambitions of creating a diversified and inclusive economy in Nigeria can only be achieved by having a mix of small, medium and large businesses.
“This is why we worked with the German development agency, KFW, in designing the Development Bank of Nigeria which will support the small and medium size enterprises both financially and technically to ensure they take their rightful place in the industrialization value chain.
“I am pleased to announce that Development Bank of Nigeria will be taking off soon and should be a game changer in our economic diversification plans,’’ he said.
Buhari, who described Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria from Germany as modest, urged prospective investors at the gathering to go beyond the expressions of interest and make binding commitments for trade, investments and industry in the key priority sectors of Agriculture, infrastructure, solid minerals and digital economy.
He said Nigeria which recorded a trade volume of 2.96 billion Dollars with Germany in 2015, still had a great deal of unexploited potential and room to diversify its exports to Germany and increase overall trade volumes.