By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is to sign on Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and more Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) before the end of the year.
Managing Director of DBN, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, disclosed this, while receiving a delegation of the KFW Development Bank of Germany, in Abuja, at the weekend.
According to him, the DBN’s discussions with some DMBs and more MFIs has reached advanced stage and would culminate in signing deals with them, with a view to expanding the opportunities available to operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sub-sector of the nation’s economy.
He said, “Currently, we are in discussion with several of them. Before the end of the year, we are going to sign on more Micro Finance Institutions and some commercial banks. So we expect that before the end of the year, we will make more announcements as we tie them up.”
Okpanachi said his team undertook a study tour to Germany in order to take advantage of the long experience of KFW in order to run a sustainable development bank in Nigeria.
“About September, we undertook a study tour to KFW to understand, because we are more like sister firms, working together. So we undertook a study tour there to be able to understand how they have been able to sustain this model for all these years.
“The culmination of that is the technical support that came from them and experience sharing with us, in addition to the funding they provided for us.”
“We want the assistance to continue. They have a long history of successful operations and DBN wants to learn a lot from them. We want a continuous assistance from them. We want their willingness to support us as we continue in the journey”, he said.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Director of West Africa and Madagascar, Mr. Michael Wehinger, who expressed satisfaction over the operational model adopted by the DBN, said that his organization was ready to provide more funding for the bank.
According to him, KFW saw DBN as a natural partner through which the Germany and KFW, in particular could channel efforts towards strengthening the Nigerian SME sub-sector.
His words, “When the Nigerian government took the decision to establish a Development Bank of Nigeria, we saw ourselves as a natural partner to the bank. We put our funds into it and we also put our knowledge into the process. I am happy all members of the delegation here have had the opportunity to share their views and review the progress in the establishment and operations of the DBN.”