Women-empowered businesses and local enterprises involved in agribusiness, manufacturing, health care, and renewable energy will have access to long term funding from First City Monument Bank (FCMB), courtesy of a $50m credit facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to the bank, the $50m credit line will narrow the lending gap to underserved segments and complement its lending efforts and operations in the Nigerian market. AfDB will disburse the funds to FCMB before the end of this year.
Managing Director, FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, thanked the African Development Bank for having confidence in the bank, saying the credit line would help it increase lending to high impact sectors of the Nigerian economy.
She said, “The $50m credit line will increase access to finance for women-empowered businesses and enterprises involved in agribusiness, manufacturing, renewable energy and healthcare, enabling them to build back better post-COVID.
“We are delighted that a minimum of 30 per cent of the funds will go specifically to women- empowered businesses, which would, in turn, contribute to stimulating gender equality and empowerment. Remarkably, it aligns with FCMB’s transformative agenda of boosting household economic resilience by improving women’s access to credit and work opportunities.”
In addition to the $50m, the AfDB will provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 to FCMB through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).
The Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative, an international partnership supporting women entrepreneurs in developing countries, supports AFAWA. The assistance grant complements the loan and will further strengthen training, monitoring and reporting by the bank.
In a statement, AfDB’s director of financial sector development, Mr Stefan Nalletamby, said, “We are pleased to support FCMB’s strategy to become a dominant player in addressing the funding needs of women-empowered and local enterprises. This project will extend valuable resources to critical but underserved segments during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with its adverse macroeconomic impact”.
AfDB added that the project also advances its ten-year strategy and is consistent with three of its high-five strategic priorities. These are industrialise Africa, Feed Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. This also aligns with the Nigeria Country Strategy Paper 2020-2024.
Recently, FCMB secured a $10 million facility from Oikocredit, a major global social impact investor and co-operative institution based in The Netherlands, to upscale its impressive financial support to SMEs and the agribusiness sectors in Nigeria.