United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed to provide a $280 million financing for Access bank to bridge the funding gap for small and medium scale enterprises as well as boost the county’s financial inclusion level.
Chief executive of DFC, Scott Nathan, speaking at the signing of commitment letter for the $280 million financing said, the loan will help address the financing gap for SMEs and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, just as he noted Access Bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned and -led businesses.
To him, “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.”
Also speaking at the signing, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said: “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.”
Managing director of Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, on his part, 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.mWe look forward to utilising the partnership with DFC in driving further economic expansion and inclusion in Nigeria, with a strong focus on non-oil sectors and women businesses.”
Head of Emerging Markets, Corporate Bank, at Citi 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 her reaction, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said “we welcome US 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.”