Managing Director of Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, has disclosed that the bank is partnering with development banks across the globe to make long term loans available for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, in the country. Okpanachi made this disclosure in Lagos last weekend at the Vanguard Economic Discourse.
The DBN boss explained that the setting up of the bank which is expected to run like a private sector enterprise, is with the intention of growing SMEs in the country.
He noted that SMEs in the past was responsible for over 60 percent of the employment opportunities created in the country and as such, it is imperative to focus on the growth of that segment of the economy.
He explained that already some of these global financial institutions have signed up to partner with the bank and others are expected to sign up in the coming months.
Commenting on the keynote speech by Bode Agusto at the Economic Discourse Okpanachi said: ‘‘I join the other speakers to say that population could be an asset or a liability but for me; from the perspective of a youthful population in Nigeria being an asset.
“I think the prescription to population control is just being simplistic because we are already in there. So if you talk just replacing yourself no matter the way you look at it the population is still going to grow.
“We are already in it, what are we going to do or where do we go from here? That is the perspective I am going to look at it. So if you look at the demography and the composition of the population, you we will discover that most of them are youths.
“So, if you want to talk about increase in government revenues, increasing taxes to be able to fund some of these projects, you also have to make them (the youths) productive such that they are able to contribute in their own way to the economy and be able to pay their taxes.
“That is why I think we should be able to look at which areas of the economy that will create employment more and that is where the Micro and Small scale enterprises come to bear.
“If you look at it, almost over 60 percent of the employment was created by that sector. So an institution like the Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, is set up to focus strictly on that segment of the economy is a decision in the right direction.’’