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U.S agency commits $280m in financing for Access Bank to boost financial inclusion

The United States’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on Monday signed a commitment letter for $280 million in financing for Access Bank Plc in Nigeria.

The DFC is the U.S. government’s development finance institution that provides secure private investment opportunities for emerging markets .

The Chief Executive Officer of DFC, Scott Nathan, signed the letter alongside Access Bank Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna.

The loan will help address the financing gap for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria, a statement said Monday. It will also encourage the bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned businesses in Nigeria.

“DFC’s investment in Access Bank demonstrates U.S. support for private sector-led development in Nigeria and throughout West Africa,” said DFC CEO Scott Nathan.

“The $280 million loan from DFC will boost financial inclusion in Nigeria and empower women, bolstering the country’s economic growth.”

U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard said that he idea was a welcome development for Nigeria.

“We welcome U.S. International Development Finance Corporation CEO Scott Nathan to Nigeria,” the ambassador said.

“We look forward to discussing with the public and private sectors how DFC funding can be leveraged to unleash the full economic potential of Nigeria through support to the country’s small and medium-sized businesses, financial sector, and climate change-focused enterprises.”

Business Support

Mr Ogbonna in his reaction said Access Bank is extremely pleased to announce the strategic partnership with DFC to support the multitude of businesses across Nigeria who stand to benefit from greater access to finance.

The financial support is especially important in an environment that is in need of stronger economic diversification, he said.

“We look forward to utilizing the partnership with DFC in driving further economic expansion and inclusion in Nigeria, with a strong focus on non-oil sectors and women businesses,” Mr Ogbonna said.

Rizwan Shaikh, Citi EMEA Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Bank, sad that the firm was delighted to have collaborated with Access Bank and DFC on the significant transaction, which will significantly boost SME corporate activity in Nigeria.

He said: “This is yet another milestone stride for Citi as it executes a focused local-economy development strategy based on solid partnerships with key clients and development agencies.”

DFC financing for Access Bank will provide needed liquidity given the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loan is expected to support at least 4,000 new SME loans in Nigeria. In addition, the loan proceeds will be on-lent across more than a dozen sectors in the Nigerian economy, with specific focus on women-owned SMEs, and on loans with longer tenors, which will provide more flexibility to borrowers.

Access Bank is one of the largest banks in Nigeria and has banking subsidiaries throughout Africa. Citibank acted as the coordinator and arranger/co-lender to help facilitate the loan.

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Content contributor at AFAL [African Alert]. Sarah is a passionate copywriter who stalks celebrities all day.

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