AfDB Offers $50m Credit To SMEs, Women-Owned Enterprises

The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday approved a $50 million credit to Fidelity Bank Plc to support small and medium sized, and women-owned enterprises in Nigeria.

The credit is for selected transformative sectors, including almost 100 SMEs in manufacturing, health, and education. SMEs account for 30 per cent of Fidelity Bank’s loan portfolio.

On October 10, the bank’s board approved the credit facility fully dedicated to financing micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a minimum of 30 per cent going to women-owned enterprises.

A statement from the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan sent to PREMIUM TIMES by its spokesperson, Chawki Chahed, said the loan would enhance Fidelity Bank’s liquidity to SMEs.

Besides, he said, the facility would also help the bank in meeting the demand for medium-term funding to players in the target sectors and contribute to improved quality of lives, job and wealth creation and tax-revenue generation.

Mr Chahed said the facility would complement Nigerian government’s long-term development strategy, as espoused in its Vision 20:2020 agenda.

Aligned with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERPG), he said the fund would ultimately boost enterprise competitiveness and expand Nigeria’s economic base.

“The ERPG seeks to stimulate Nigeria’s economic growth, catalyse macroeconomic stability, foster diversification of the economy, and enhance social inclusion as well as governance,” he said.

The AfDB said the selection of the tier 2 Nigerian bank for this seven-year credit facility (with a grace period of two years) was based on its strong niche presence in the SME and mid-sized corporates space.

It is also in recognition of the bank’s credit management and strong track record with the AfDB.

Fidelity Bank previously received $18 million and $75 million lines of credit from the development finance institution in 2001 and 2013, respectively.

“Fidelity Bank is a niche player, focused on the SMEs space and this $50 million credit line will contribute to strengthening its presence in its key market segments,” said Senior Director, Nigeria Country Office at the AfDB, Ebrima Faal, said.

“The Nigerian financial institution also continues to meet its ongoing credit obligations under the terms of previous support received from the African Development Bank,” the statement said

The line of credit to Fidelity Bank is consistent with the its ten-year strategy (2013–2022). It also aligns with two of its High 5 priorities – industrialise Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.