The House of Representatives at the plenary on Wednesday passed through second reading at establishing a specialized Bank called the ‘Entrepreneurship Bank of Nigeria’.
The proposed legislation titled, “Bill for an Act to Establish Entrepreneurship Development Bank of Nigeria to charge it with the Responsibility, among other things, to provide Medium and Long Term Finance for Indigenous Small Businesses and to Provide for Establishment of Nigerian Entrepreneurship Development, Encourage Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Small Scale Enterprises in Nigeria,” is sponsored by the House Spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu and Olalekan Afolabi.
Leading the discussion on the bank’s guiding principles, Kalu stated that when it is founded, the bank will be tasked with, among other things, providing medium and long-term financing for indigenous small enterprises in Nigeria as may be decided by the bank’s Board from time to time.
He claims that the measure, which is targeted at Nigerian youth, aims to boost young people’s access to financing for businesses in innovation, production, agriculture, and commerce.
According to him, a major obstacle to the ability of young people to start their own businesses is a lack of access to functional and effective financing. As a result, the existing financial institutions are unable to meet the actual needs of indigenous businesses or initiatives that are started and run by young people.
Kalu said, “Even the African Development Bank has seen the need to have a specialized bank for the youths. According to ThisDay Newspaper of 29 May, 2022, the President of the AfDB Group, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina at the conclusion of the 2022 Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank in Accra Ghana, disclosed that the bank had embarked on the design of youth entrepreneurship investment banks in African countries included Nigeria.
“A closer look at the operational modalities of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) would show that there is no clear-cut intention and support for indigenous small businesses owned and run by youth. Commercial and microfinance banks are not even feasible options for indigenous small businesses. This is the gap which the contemplated bank would fill. There is need for a specialized bank which would target the youth at different levels and scopes with emphasis on harnessing abundant potentials for economic growth and greatness of the nation.
Thereafter, the Bill was voted on, passed through second reading and referred to the Committees on Finance and Industries.