THE African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday that it had approved five million dollars Line of Credit (LoC) to ABN Microfinance Bank Nigeria (ABN) to create 2,500 jobs and empower 1,500 entrepreneurs.
A statement by the bank made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said the amount was equivalent to N840 million.
According to the statement, the LoC is to support ABN’s existing and new Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) clients.
It said that ABN had a strong line of SME projects seeking funding to expand their business range.
“This includes SMEs from various economic sectors, including trade, commerce, manufacturing, services, construction and transport.
“It is expected that ABN will also be able to provide longer tenor loans to its SME clients, thus stimulating the much needed investments in the SME sector,’’ it said.
It said the LoC is expected to benefit 1,500 entrepreneurs over a five-year period of which a sizable part would be for new SME clients.
“Initial estimates suggest that this may contribute to the creation of 2,500 new jobs, in addition to maintaining existing jobs at these enterprises,’’ the statement said.
“Since women and youth constitute important clients at ABN, these will also be important beneficiaries from the AfDB’s LoC.
“AfDB will also discuss with ABN the possibility of strengthening ABN’s operations through Technical Assistance, thus effectively supporting its further expansion across Nigeria.’’
AB Microfinance Bank is part of AfDB’s Africa SME Programme to develop and expand its SME financing activities and provide medium- to long-term financing options to local SMEs.
NAN reports that the bank in 2013 approved Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Program for a four-year 125-million dollar funding, combined with a 3.98 million dollars technical assistance package for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA).
“The fund aims at supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa.
“It will provide the necessary long-term finance and a technical assistance package to address a number of constraints faced by 25 target financial institutions and their SME clients across Africa,” it said. (NAN)
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