… Targets Women and Long Term Loans
In its quest to boost SME businesses in Nigeria, Nigeria’s Commercial financial institution, Access Bank Plc has signed a $280 million Small and Medium Enterprises financing deal with U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
CEO of DFC, Scott Nathan disclosed that the loan will help address the financing gap for SMEs and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, including through the bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned and -led businesses.
Speaking at the signing of the deal on Monday in Lagos, he said: “DFC’s investment in Access Bank demonstrates U.S. support for private sector-led development in Nigeria and throughout West Africa. The $280 million loan from DFC will boost financial inclusion in Nigeria and empower women, bolstering the country’s economic growth.”
Meanwhile the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, who welcomed the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation CEO, Scott Nathan, said: “We look forward to discussing with the public and private sectors how DFC funding can be leveraged to unleash the full economic potential of Nigeria through support to the country’s small and medium-sized businesses, financial sector, and climate change-focused enterprises.
On his part, Managing Director of Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said: “Access Bank is extremely pleased to announce this strategic partnership with DFC to support the multitude of businesses across Nigeria who stand to benefit from greater access to finance, especially in an environment that is in need of stronger economic diversification.
“We look forward to utilizing the partnership with DFC in driving further economic expansion and inclusion in Nigeria, with a strong focus on non-oil sectors and women businesses.”
In his words, Citi EMEA Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Bank, Rizwan Shaikh said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with Access Bank and DFC on this significant transaction, which will significantly boost SME corporate activity in Nigeria.”
“This is yet another milestone stride for Citi as it executes a focused local-economy development strategy based on solid partnerships with key clients and development agencies. DFC financing for Access Bank will provide needed liquidity given the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan is expected to support at least 4,000 new SME loans in Nigeria.
In addition, the loan proceeds will be on-lent across more than a dozen sectors in the Nigerian economy, with specific focus on women-owned SMEs, and on loans with longer tenors, which will provide more flexibility to borrowers.