The management of Bank of Industry (BoI) has become ruffled as the Federal Government has concluded plans to appoint a board and management for Development Bank Nigeria (DBN).
The BoI management views the move as another initiative that would under play its relevance.
This is following the application for the necessary licence by the Federal Government, via the CBN and empanelling the technical and management team to enable the new bank take off in the first quarter of 2017.
According to the spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta, the need for Nigeria to tap the $1.53 billion, which some international institutions had already set aside for the bank’s take off., influenced government’s move.
The institutions, including European Union, AfDB, the World Bank and Agence Françoise de Developmente (French Development institution) were said to have notified Nigeria to kick start the bank or lose the facilities meant for it.
He said the international institutions were running out of time with Nigeria, who had been patient with the country since 2014 when the idea of the development bank was mooted.
The bank, when established will assist the small scale enterprises and other startups that find it difficult to access loans from conventional banks, particularly the BoI, whose loans come with almost the same high interest rates.
But it was learnt that the BoI managing director, Kunle Olaoluwa, with other members of the management team, has been lobbying both legislators and top government functionaries to support the campaign to discard the plan of setting up a bank with almost the same brief with the BoI.
However, with the directive from the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday, to the CBN to issue all needed documents for effective take-off of the development bank, officials of BoI were seen in groups discussing what might be their fate.
A former banker and Commissioner of Commerce in Ondo State, Bankole Akinjobi, said the BoI had outlived its usefulness and should either be reformed or scrapped.
Other commentators have also called for a review of BoI, if it is to play any role in re-jigging the Nigerian economy.
Said Godwin Okezie, an economist: “The BoI cannot easily point to up to 100 started ups that it has assisted to be in business, hence the CBN setting aside some seed funds for small enterprises when a bank of industry is in place.”
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