Abuja - The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says Nigeria is the largest shareholder in the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the highest voting power of 9.2 percent
Okonjo-Iweala said this at the 50th Anniversary Dinner of the bank organised by its country office in Abuja.
The minister also said that the Federal Government had a $1.6 billion loans portfolio from the AfDB for 28 projects that cut across private and public sector activities in the country.
She explained that Nigeria had been a principal beneficiary of AfDB’s assistance, having received nearly $5 billion in net investments since the bank commenced its operation in 1972.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the country had been committed to the development course of the bank since 1986 when the country established a Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF) within the institution.
"We set up this money as a means of helping countries that were less fortunate and ourselves at the height of the oil boom of the 1970s," she said.
The minister said that the trust fund started with about $80 million , adding that the fund grew to more than $600 million in few years.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the fund had serviced and benefited so many countries with 88 key operations among 34 regional member countries.
The coordinating minister for the economy disclosed that the Federal Government was building its own Nigerian Development Bank (NDB), adding that the AfBD was a full partner.
According to her, the AfDB is putting in $400 million with an equity stake, which means both loans and equity.
"The World Bank is putting in 4500 million, Germany $500 million, and we are still raising both debt and equity.
"So, by the beginning of 2015, Nigeria will have its own development bank for the first time in this country, " she said.
Okonjo-Iweala said that small and medium size enterprises, manufacturers and other businesses would be able to get resources at seven to 10 years tenor at reasonable terms of interest.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.