The African Development Bank has signed a $50m credit agreement with Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank to support access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as Women-Empowered Businesses.
A statement said FCMB would use the proceeds of the credit to finance SMEs and WEBs in Nigeria’s agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare and renewable energy sectors.
The funds are intended to mitigate the effects of the challenges created by COVID-19 pandemic on the business environment in which the beneficiary enterprises operate.
Also, the African Development Bank would partner with FCMB through a technical assistance grant of $200,000 sourced from the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative under its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative.
FCMB would deploy the grant resources to provide non-financial services, including training and strengthening of its monitoring and reporting functions for WEBs.
Other outcomes expected from the operation are improved access to finance for at least 50 enterprises, out of which 29 were envisaged to be in agribusiness and manufacturing, nine in renewable energy and 13 in the healthcare industry.
A minimum of 14 female entrepreneurs would be supported to access long-term funding and at least 1,000 jobs created or sustained.
The statement said small and medium-sized firms account for up to 80 per cent of employment in most African countries, and women-empowered businesses typically face a considerable financing gap.
“The Nigerian economy has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and falling crude oil prices with a ripple effect on the broader economy,” the statement said.
The Director General, Nigeria Country Department, AfDB, Lamin Barrow, said, “The African Development Bank is pleased to partner with FCMB, a financial institution that has continuously demonstrated commitment to supporting and financing small and medium-sized enterprises and women entrepreneurs. This collaboration will further expand FCMB’s financial support to this underserved group and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.”