By JADE RUSSELL
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMAS Development Bank (BDB) Chairman Senator Quinton Lightbourne on Friday said the Cabinet has approved $30m capitalisation for the bank.
Mr Lightbourne, during an Office of the Prime Minister press briefing, said the $30m capital is from the African Export Import Bank, known as Afreximbank. He called the capitalisation an “historic transformation”, noting that the last capitalisation approval BDB had was in 2005.
“For nearly two decades this institution has endured a capital drought that has hindered its ability to fulfill its mandate in supporting development of our Bahamian economy. Today, I'm proud to say that this is a point of change. The Cabinet Office of The Bahamas has approved a $30m capitalisation from the Afreximbank. The approval of this funding reflects an historic transformation of The Bahamas Development Bank,” Mr Lightbourne said.
This capital revitalisation will assist BDB in contributing to Family Island development, food security, investment in smart agriculture solutions, increasing exports, and more.
“We aim to diversify and expand our tourism product to unforgettable experiences for our visitors. I would like to say in addition to this, we are committed to preserving our cultural assets, ensuring that they remain the cornerstone of our tourism industry. Energy efficiency and renewable energy will be the focus for us going forward,” he added.
Mr Lightbourne said the capitalisation will be a step towards bringing economic prosperity and growth for Bahamians.
“The facility is open to all Bahamians operating businesses or projects in the sectors in which the bank operates,” he noted.
Asked when the funds from the capitalisation will be officially given, Mr Lightbourne said: “By the end of November, funds will be in hand and we'll be able to be in a position to disperse funding for local businesses.”
There are some businesses already in the pipeline that will potentially receive funding.