The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Fidelity Bank have signed a $50 million financing agreement to promote the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
The Senior Director/Country Representative at AfDB, Ebrima Faal signed the agreement on behalf of the organisation while the Deputy Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mohammed Balarabe, signed on behalf of the commercial bank.
At the official signing event in Abuja, AfDB noted that at least 30 percent of the fund must go into promoting businesses that are owned and operated by women entrepreneurs.
According to Faal, “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. 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 event, Balarabe revealed that businesses at the lower level have 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 its 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.