The Senate on Wednesday sought for the merger of the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other development banks that have been moribund for quite some time now.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC), Sokoto East senatorial district argued that development banks the world over were meant to intervene in developmental projects, citing that various banks have either been moribund or under-performing which must not be allowed to continue.
He said: “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Bank of Industry Act, the Bank of Commerce and Industry Act and National Economic Reconstruction Fund Act.”
Gobir explained that if those banks were fused into one to be known as ‘National Development Bank,’ it would serve the nation better thereby promoting developments.
Gobir further asserted that the the NDB is a financial inclusion that creates micro finance lending payable within 10 years and to further serve as an intervention in project executions in the country.
“The bank will be a project solution to the nation’s financial downturn especially in Agric financing as well as providing micro facilities on the long and short term basis,” he said.
Taking exceptions to the bill particularly the Bank of Industry, Senator Sam Egwu cautioned that BoI has performed creditably, stressing that the Senate must not be seen to move the nation a step forward and two steps backwards.
Egwu further argued that BoI as a high flying Bank has funded enterprises with return on investments and had gained about N10.3billion in the last one year.
Senator Mao Ohabunwa on his part, said it would be a consolidation to moribund banks, emphasizing that NERFUND has lost touch with its responsibilities.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, this Bill should be allowed the second reading as it will serve as a consolidation, particularly NERFUND,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, referred the bill to Senate Committee on Banks, Financial institutions and Insurance and to be reverted in three weeks.