The European Investment Bank will be working in conjunction with the United Bank for Africa to provide about €60 million worth of financial facilities to small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. This agreement comes under the EIB’s Nigeria Private Enterprise Investment Facility, an initiative of the European public finance institution to support the growth of the private sector in Nigeria.
The deal struck between the UBA and the EIB was formalized by executives from the banks while they were attending the World Bank’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC. As part of the agreement, the EIB will, through the UBA, be making available loans to private enterprises wishing to invest in sectors it marks as eligible. It will also be funding the capital expenditures of the intermediary (UBA) in capacity development, specifically in branch networks, IT systems and training.
Ambroise Fayolle, the EIB’s Vice President, said that the initiative pointed to the European financial institution’s commitment to “unlocking investment across Africa”. He also described the partnership with UBA as an opportunity to build on past successes and help generate new projects across the country. The EIB says the facility to be provided through its local partner will be used to finance new projects carried out by private companies. Investment by these companies, according to Fayolle, will be crucial to ensuring sustainable economic growth- hence the bank’s focus on supporting them.
The new investment scheme, according to UBA’s Group Managing Director, Kenedy Uzoka, “will enable UBA bridge critical financing gap for Nigerian companies”, and aid the bank in its attempts to support growth in the private sector.