Nigeria to launch development bank by January – Adeosun

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ABUJA Oct 17 (Reuters) – Nigeria plans to launch a development bank by January to support smaller-scale businesses, the finance minister said on Monday, as the country seeks a way out of its worst economic crisis in decades.

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has secured commitment from the World Bank for $1.3 billion in seed money, Kemi Adeosun said in a statement.

The African Development Bank’s president said last month it was investing $500 million in the DBN, and that it could be in place by November.

“It is going to provide money for (small and medium-sized enterprises) and for Nigeria that is really important because 50 percent of our GDP is made up of small companies,” Adeosun said in a statement.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has slid into recession for the first time in 25 years as low oil prices have slashed government revenues and weakened the naira currency.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by John Stonestreet)