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Stop donating money, invest in communities, Minister urges BoI


Image result for Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed yesterday charged the Bank of Industry and the Development Bank of Nigeria to move from merely donating money to the people to investing in the people and their communities.

Ahmed who spoke at the NEXUS 11 summit in Abuja stated that the vision for Nigeria as outlined by President Muhammedu Buhari at the beginning of this government is to lift 100million people out of poverty within the next 10years and it can only be done through investment and financing for development.

According to the Minister, “I would like to applaud the Development Bank of Nigeria and  the Bank of Industry for taking the initiative within the financial sector for moving from the handout model to the hands up model, and for investing in people and in conflict afflicted societies.
“By doing so, they have not only begun kick starting economies in conflict afflicted areas but also taking the first step to lifting these communities away from dependence and towards dignity and self-sustainability. This catalytic action will no doubt have a significant ripple effect through our financial sector.

“It is important as we talk about the Nexus to acknowledge that it is only ensuring inclusivity as long-lasting solutions and peace can be achieved. We must look at ways of attracting financing from the private sector for development in order to ensure sustainable job creation for young people all over Nigeria.

“We would therefore like to encourage investment in resilient communities by the private sector and particularly by financial institutions. It is also notable that Nigeria and Nigerian initiatives MUST go to scale. This is no time for pilot programmes but as we move from reaching thousands of people to millions, we can only achieve this jointly by going to scale.

“ In this spirit I encourage the banking sector to take this initiative a step further, by crowding in financing and leveraging upon these initiatives to achieve results. To our development partners we welcome your partnership and urge you to support the investment in resilient communities by employing existing de-risking mechanisms and instruments in order to further the type of development that Nigeria truly needs; helping Nigerians to help themselves. Building local capacity and working hand in hand with Nigerian led initiatives is what will enable true economic growth and financial stability.”

Zainab Ahmed said her expectation from this summit is not just another meeting but is a call to action on the part of all stakeholders, this is a government committed to reform, and in this area the government is already taking strides to improve coordination in all areas, additionally we are committed to supporting investment in human capital development and entrepreneurship activity particularly in conflict and crisis affected areas of our country.

We are also committed to ensuring that the life of every citizen is positively impacted wherever they are across the nation. Today that step begins here as you deliberate on the actions needed to build resilient communities not just in areas affected by conflict and crisis but indeed across Nigeria.

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