An agreement of N1billion facility was on Wednesday signed between African Development Bank (AfDB) and Fortis Microfinance Bank (Fortis) to be used for lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
According to the statement from the AfDB, the partnership with Fortis will help to improve Nigeria’s private sector development through financing of projects that are strategically aligned to the country’s development agenda.
Dr. Ousmane Dore, AfDB Country Director in Nigeria during the signing also explained the importance of strengthening micro finance initiatives, stating: “Unless those at the bottom of the pyramid have access to finance, poverty will remain a major development issue.’’
He also assured the bank’s commitment to promote inclusive, private sector-led growth and employment creation in Nigeria and across the continent.
Also speaking during the signing, Fortis Managing Director and CEO, Tiko Okoye said the deal was significant as it underscored the firm’s desire to empower SMEs in the country.
“The collaboration with the AfDB has added a significant boost to the realisation of our dreams of empowering more Nigerian households through the SMEs.
“SMEs across all climes are the engine of most economies, Nigeria and Africa inclusive. A more formidable SMEs sector will lead to a stronger Nigerian economy,” he added.