AfDB grants loans to boost Nigerian SMEs

naira  ShardayyyAfBD will provide loans worth US$500mn for BOI and US$200mn for NEXIM. (Image source: Shardayyy/Flickr)The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed an agreement to provide loans to the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) in an attempt to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria

AfBD said the loans, which will be worth US$500mn for BOI and US$200mn for NEXIM, will help SMEs in Nigeria to be more competitive, scale up their operations and ultimately generate more jobs.

The loans will include a technical assistance package to help strengthen institutional capacity of both BOI and NEXIM as well as their SME clients.

NEXIM managing director Robert Orya said, “Thanks to AfDB’s support through this programme, NEXIM now seeks to achieve economic development goals, including approximately 55,000 new jobs for its SME clients, US$1.6bn in foreign exchange and an overall contribution of almost seven per cent to non-oil exports, including a 10 per cent share in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) exports.

“This facility will provide a great opportunity for NEXIM to make available concessional long-term funding in pursuance of its strategic objectives of enhancing value-added exports and boosting the capacity of SMEs for job creation and foreign exchange earnings,” he added.

AfDB explained that through its integrated financing package, the bank was supporting Nigeria’s efforts towards a more diversified economy away from oil and gas. The credits will supply multi-sector financing to address the challenges that SMEs have been facing in accessing finance in the country.

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