U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Scott Nathan (left) with Access Bank Managing Director Roosevelt Ogbonna during a ceremony to commemorate the signing of a commitment letter for $280 million in financing for Access Bank Plc in Lagos on Monday.
Access Bank Gets $280m Funding To Boost 4000 SME’s Across Nigeria
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Scott Nathan on Monday signed a commitment letter for $280 million in financing for Access Bank Plc in Nigeria alongside Access Bank Managing Director Roosevelt Ogbonna. The loan is expected to help address the financing gap for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, including through the bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned and -led businesses.
Speaking during the signing, DFC CEO Scott Nathan stated that, “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,”
On her part, US Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard stated that, “We welcome U.S. International Development Finance Corporation CEO Scott Nathan to Nigeria.
“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.”
In his own speech, Access Bank Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna enthused that, “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.”
For Citibank which acted as the coordinator and arranger/co-lender to help facilitate the loan, the banks Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Bank, Rizwan Shaikh stated that, “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.
Access Bank is one of the largest banks in Nigeria and has banking subsidiaries throughout Africa.
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