The European Investment Bank (EIB) has entered into agreement with United Bank for Africa (UBA) to perfect a new deal that will see Nigerian private business initiatives tap from a N21 billion long term loan facility.
According to the details of the agreement, made available to Ripple Nigeria, the new private sector lending programme was formally agreed on the side-lines of the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC by Ambroise Fayolle, the Vice President of the European Investment Bank and Kennedy Uzoka, UBA Group Managing Director and Sola Yomi-Ajayi, its Head of Global Financial Institutions.
The business deal will see EIB make available the sum of EUR 60 million (about N21bn) as lending programme to support private sector investment to fight the impacts of recession in Nigeria.
This represents the EIB’s largest single loan to any bank West African sub region and will allow UBA to provide longer term loans than currently available to private companies in Nigeria, said Vice President of the bank.
“Private sector investment is crucial for creating jobs and ensuring sustainable economic growth. The European Investment Bank is committed to unlocking investment across Africa and we are pleased to build on past success to strengthen our partnership with UBA that will benefit projects across Nigeria,” he added.
The facility, said experts, will enable UBA bridge critical financing gaps for Nigerian companies and deepen their capacity to support growth aspirations in the local and international market place.
Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, described the programme as an example of the catalytic role the EU and its institutions like the EIB are playing to support Nigeria’s economic development.
“We look forward to more fruitful partnerships with Nigeria, and particularly with the private sector, which remains the engine of economic growth,” the Ambassador stated.
Officials of UBA also said this is a renewal of investment loan scheme as part of its fund capital expenditure to strengthen the bank’s support for private investment, through expansion of their branch network and improving information.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last five years has provided EUR 12.8 billion for investment across Africa.
By Emma Eke….
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