AfDB approves $50 million to FCMB for local, women-owned businesses in Nigeria

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have approved a loan of $50 million to Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to channel to local enterprises and women-empowered businesses in the agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare and renewable energy sectors.

The disclosure is contained in a public statement titled, ’African Development Bank bolsters women-empowered businesses with $50 million loan to FCMB bank’ issued by the AfDB on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

The statement says that 30% of the funds, which are intended to mitigate the effects of the challenging Covid-19 environment, are earmarked for underserved women-empowered businesses.

It also adds that the Bank will provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative supported by the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative. The grant is expected to complement the loan by enabling First City Monument Bank to provide non-financial services, including training, and to strengthen its monitoring and reporting functions.

What the AfDB Director of Finance Sector Development is saying

The AfDB Director of Finance Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby said, “The African Development Bank is pleased to support FCMB’s strategy to become a dominant player in addressing the funding needs of women-empowered and local enterprises. This project will extend valuable resources to critical but underserved segments during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with its adverse macroeconomic impacts.”

The statement also notes that small- and medium-sized firms account for up to 80% of employment in most African countries and women-empowered businesses typically face a considerable financing gap adding that the Nigerian economy has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and falling crude oil prices have had a ripple effect on the wider economy.

 

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