The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) signed a $280 million loan agreement with Access Bank on Monday to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Scott Nathan, CEO of DFC, and Roosevelt Ogbonna, managing director of Access Bank Plc in Nigeria, signed a commitment document for $280 million in funding.
The loan would assist in closing the funding gap for SMEs and advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria, including the bank’s commitment to helping women-owned and led firms.
“DFC’s investment in Access Bank demonstrates the United States’ support for private-sector-led development in Nigeria and across West Africa,” Nathan added. “The $280 million loan from DFC will increase financial inclusion and empower women in Nigeria, boosting the country’s economic growth.”
“We welcome Scott Nathan, CEO of the United States International Development Finance Corporation, to Nigeria,” stated US Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard. “We look forward to discussing with the public and private sectors how DFC funding can be leveraged to unlock Nigeria’s full economic potential by assisting the country’s small and medium-sized businesses, financial sector, and climate change-focused enterprises.”
“Access Bank is extremely pleased to announce this strategic partnership with DFC to support the multitude of businesses across Nigeria that stand to benefit from increased access to finance, particularly in an environment in need of stronger economic diversification,” Roosevelt Ogbonna said. “We are excited to use our partnership with DFC to drive further economic expansion and inclusion in Nigeria, with a strong emphasis on non-oil sectors and women-owned businesses.”
“We are delighted to have worked with Access Bank and DFC on this significant transaction, which will significantly increase SME corporate activity in Nigeria,” said Rizwan Shaikh, Citi EMEA head of emerging markets corporate banking. “This is yet another significant step forward for Citi as it implements a focused local economic development strategy based on strong partnerships with key clients and development agencies.”
Given the worldwide economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, DFC financing for Access Bank will provide much-needed cash. The financing would fund at least 4,000 new SME loans in Nigeria. Furthermore, the loan proceeds will be re-lent across more than a dozen sectors of the Nigerian economy, with a particular emphasis on women-owned SMEs and loans with longer tenors, giving borrowers greater flexibility.