The Nigerian government has called on the European Union (EU) to invest in the proposed Wholesale Development Bank in Nigeria through its development financing outfit, the European Development Bank (EIB), according to local media reports.
The private Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday that Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda made the plea in the capital city of Abuja while receiving a delegation of the EU led by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion.
He said already, the proposed Bank has attracted significant interest among global funding agencies like the World Bank which has pledged US$500 million.
Other development-oriented financial institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB) have also committed some funds for the take off of the bank.
“We are developing a wholesale development bank in Nigeria. The idea of the bank is to give long term financing to SMEs and increase their source of borrowing. We did a study of the informal sector which showed that the sector constituted 45 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the paper quoted the minister as saying.