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Fidelity Bank gets $50m AfDB facility to fund MSMEs

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AfDB approves $14.12 for Nigeria's membership of ATI

Nigeria’s Fidelity Bank has obtained a $50 million facility from the African Development Bank, AfDB, for the funding and promoton of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

The AfDB, which said the funding was approved by its board on October 10, 2018, insisted that at least 30 per cent of the fund must go into promoting businesses that were owned and ran by women entrepreneurs.

The funding agreement was signed by the Senior Director/Country Representative at AfDB, Ebrima Faal and the Deputy Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mohammed Balarabe in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event, Faal described Fidelity Bank as a niche player in the MSME sector. According to him, the $50m funding will strengthen the bank’s performance in advancing credit to small businesses.

The AfDB boss said: “We are excited about this partnership. The lines of credit tended to be general support for SMEs. This one has a strong emphasis on gender. It can be considered as a vanguard credit for us.

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“Our main focus is to reach out to SMEs to give the much-needed impact. We count on you to ensure that the requirement for loan disbursement is okay to enable it to reach out to the target audience.”

Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Fidelity Bank’s DMD, Balarabe said that businesses at the lower level had the capacity to catalyse the development of the economy, adding that the funding was unique because of the gender specification.

He said: “The AfDB has found us fitting to be one of the banks that will be benefiting for onward lending to MSMEs. Fidelity is one of the leading lenders to the segment, but for us, it’s not all about lending.

“Our engagement with MSMEs is more. We take time to find the needs of such businesses, and work with them on how to run the businesses.”

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