The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Access Bank Plc have signed an agreement on a $280 million support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
According to a statement issued by the US Embassy on Monday, the agreement will address the financing gap for the SMEs.
The commitment letter was signed by DFC Chief Executive Officer, Scott Nathan and Access Bank Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna, in Lagos.
In his remark, Nathan said the DFC financing for Access Bank would provide needed liquidity given the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the intervention was expected to support at least 4,000 new SME loans in Nigeria.
Nathan noted that the loan proceeds would be on-lent across more than a dozen sectors in the Nigerian economy with specific focus on women-owned SMEs, and loans with longer tenors to provide more flexibility to borrowers.
He said: “The loan will 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.
“DFC’s investment in Access Bank demonstrates US 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, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard said she looked forward to discussion with the public and private sectors on how the DFC funding could be leveraged to unleash the full economic potential of Nigeria through support to the country’s SMEs, financial sector, and climate change-focused enterprises.
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