The United States International Development Finance Corporation and Access Bank have said that a whopping sum of $280m deal has been signed to boost Small and Medium-scale Enterprises’ financing in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, US International Development Finance Corporation, Scott Nathan, signed a commitment letter for the $280m in financing for Access Bank Plc in Nigeria alongside Access Bank Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna.
According to report, the loan will bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-sized enterprises and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, including through the bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned and -led businesses.
Speaking on the loan to SMEs, Nathan said the investment signifies the US support for private sector-led development in Nigeria and throughout West Africa.
“The $280m loan from DFC will boost financial inclusion in Nigeria and empower women, bolstering the country’s economic growth,” he said.
The Managing Director of Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna expressed his delight at the partnership with DFC to boost the economy.
“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.”
Citibank acted as the coordinator and arranger, co-lender to help facilitate the loan.
Citi EMEA Head of Emerging Markets Corporate, BankRizwan Shaikh, also noted that the collaboration would boost SME activities.
He 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 economic development strategy based on solid partnerships with key clients and development agencies.”
Moreover, a statement said that the DFC financing for Access Bank would the supply 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 a specific focus on women-owned SMEs, and on loans with longer tenors, which will provide more flexibility to borrowers.