Pitan urges DFIs to increase funding for agriculture, infrastructure

The Chairman, 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.

A statement said the event, which was attended by representatives of all the DFIs in Nigeria, had the 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 was 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 had 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 meant was that more efforts were 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 on 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 had been established at the Bank of Industry, Abuja corporate office, while members of staff had been recruited.

He said the members of staff would execute the vision of the secretariat and provide regular updates as required.

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