The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed an agreement with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for a $50 million line of credit.
This is contained in a statement issued by Chukwuemeka Ezekiel, AfDB Group, Nigeria Country Department, on Friday.
The line of credit is to support access to finance for small and medium-sized and women-empowered enterprises.
The bank’s Director-General for Nigeria, Lamin Barrow, said the AfDB’s support to FCMB would advance the objectives of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative.
The initiative seeks to improve gender inclusivity by enhancing access to finance for women entrepreneurs.
“With at least 30 per cent of the funding from the Line of Credit to be channelled 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,” Mr Barrow said.
FCMB’s Managing Director, Yemisi Edun, said “we are happy to collaborate with the AfDB.”
According to her, the aim is to create expanded opportunities and accelerate post-COVID-19 pandemic business recovery for SMEs and women-owned businesses in Nigeria through funding and technical support.
“We are intentional about collaboration that upskills entrepreneurs, drives industrialisation, and creates economic value, wealth and employment for Nigerians.”
Ms Edun said that the agreement affirmed the bank’s confidence in FCMB’s growth potential and corporate governance structures.
According to the statement, FCMB will use the line of credit to expand lending activities that will boost the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery and drive more inclusive and climate-resilient growth.
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.