The Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Development Finance Institution, Mr Olukayode Pitan has called for increased collaboration among Development Finance Institutions to tackle some of the economic challenges facing the country.
Pitan who is also the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry said this at the opening session of the association’s second annual general assembly.
The event which was attended by representatives of all the DFIs in Nigeria had as its theme, “Innovative financing for sustainable growth and development.”
Pitan said it had become compelling for DFIs to increase the level of their intervention due to the fact that Nigeria is home to an estimated 200 million people, and projected to experience monumental population growth to about 400 million people by the year 2050.
He said while there has been marked economic improvement through the years from various intervention programmes and infrastructural investments, the World Bank in its projection this year stated that Nigeria would be home to 95.1 million poor people.
Pitan said what this means is that more efforts are required in the area of poverty alleviation, infrastructural and human capital development, agriculture, and industry among others.
He said, “The actions of all of us at this event shall have a significant input to determining whether the growth of Nigeria’s population will promote prosperity and improve the livelihood of the Nigerian people or become a source of fragility, social tension, and increased economic hardships.
“Nigerian DFIs have the potential to address these issues working in synergy with the organised private sector as well as the three tiers of government.
“Collectively, we can deliver the level of sustainable social and economic development that we desire. Nigeria presents a unique context for the developmental mandate of DFIs.
“Indeed, we are charged with enabling various sectors and segments of the economy such as agriculture, industry, infrastructure, export and import, and mortgage.”
Giving an update on the ANDFI secretariat, the Chairman said a new and furnished workspace has been established at the Bank of Industry Abuja Corporate Office, while members of staff have been recruited.
He said the members of staff have been tasked with executing the vision of the secretariat and provide regular updates as required.
While thanking members of ANDFI for all efforts and achievements so far recorded, he urged them to live up to their obligations with regards to timely payment of association annual fees and other committed efforts.
“It is only when we work together in synergy, with a unified sense of purpose and commitment that we can deliver on our objectives and achieve sustainable development across various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“I also want to charge us to speak with one voice in our collective efforts and desire to influence government policies and matters of common interest; encourage mutual assistance and investment co-operation among members; invest in training and development of members; jointly carry out studies on issues of national economic growth with a view to promoting development in our nation; and promote co-operation and exchange of technical expertise amongst member DFIs and with similar organisations in Africa and beyond,” he added.