NIGERIA — Union Bank has secured a US$25 million local-currency investment in a risk-sharing facility from the IFC (International Finance Corporation) to expand lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
According to an IFC statement, the facility, which will cover as much as 50 percent of the risk of the bank’s loans to entrepreneurs, aims to help Nigerian businesses grow and create jobs.
“IFC’s risk sharing facility will help Union Bank increase its focus on Nigeria’s underserved areas, positioning it as one of the leading banks that provides customized services to SMEs that are driving job creation and growth across the country,” commented Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria
According to Union Bank, entrepreneurs in these regions face particularly difficult challenges accessing finance, and more than half the population is excluded from the financial system.
The survey also found that more than half of the women-managed firms surveyed named access to finance as a major obstacle to growth.
SLGP is backed by the International Development Association’s (IDA) Private Sector Window, which is providing a first-loss guarantee, allowing IFC to scale up its support to underserved and unbanked SMEs, the statement noted.
The Bank recently unveiled Alpher (α), a dynamic proposition aimed at uplifting Nigerian women through customised financial services, capacity building opportunities and competitive interest rates on loans.