The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed an agreement with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for a 50-million-dollar line of credit to support access to finance for small and medium-sized and women-empowered enterprises.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Chukwuemeka Ezekiel, AfDB Group, Nigeria Country Department.
The line of credit will be used by FCMB to increase lending activities that will aid in the post-pandemic economic recovery of the nation and promote inclusive and climate-resilient growth. It will concentrate on companies operating in Nigeria’s manufacturing, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors.
The AfDB’s support for FCMB, according to Lamin Barrow, the bank’s director-general for Nigeria, will advance the goals of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative.
By making it easier for women entrepreneurs to access financing, the initiative aims to increase gender inclusivity.
“With at least 30 percent of the funding from the Line of Credit to be channeled to women-owned businesses, FCMB will be better positioned to scale up the deployment of its tailored products and services.
“The aim is to meet the needs of SMEs and women-owned businesses,” Barrow said.
FCMB’s managing director, Yemisi Edun said,
“We are happy to collaborate with the AfDB. Through funding and technical assistance, the goal is to increase opportunities and hasten the post-COVID-19 pandemic business recovery for SMEs and women-owned businesses in Nigeria.
“We are intentional about collaboration that upskills entrepreneurs, drives industrialization, and creates economic value, wealth, and employment for Nigerians.”
According to Edun, the agreement demonstrated the bank’s faith in FCMB’s capacity for growth and corporate governance frameworks.
The line of credit will be used by FCMB to increase lending activities that will accelerate the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery and promote inclusive and climate-resilient growth, according to the statement.
It would also focus on enterprises in Nigeria’s agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors.
Meanwhile, the AfDB is also providing a complementary technical assistance package of 285,000 dollars under its AFAWA initiative.
The grant funding would support the enhancement of financial literacy, business management, and entrepreneurial skills for women-led businesses and strengthen FCMB’s monitoring and reporting functions.
The funding is provided by the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative.