The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a USD 50 Mn credit to Fidelity Bank Plc., to support small, medium-sized and women-owned enterprises in Nigeria.
This credit is for handpicked transformative sectors, including nearly 100 SMEs in manufacturing, health, and education. Meanwhile, SMEs account of 30 percent of Fidelity Banks’s loan portfolio.
On October 10, the bank’s board gave the nod for the credit facility entirely dedicated to financing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a minimum of 30 percent reaching enterprises that are owned by women.
In a statement from the AfDB’s Abidjan headquarters, spokesperson Chawki Chahed said that the loan would enhance Fidelity Bank’s liquidity to SMEs. He also remarked that the facility would as well help the bank as per the demand for medium-term funding to players in the targeted sector and contribute to improved quality of lives, job, wealth creation and tax revenue generation.
According to him, the facility would complement the Nigerian government’s long-term development strategy, as espoused in its Vision 20:2020 agenda.
In alignment with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERGP), Chawki said that the fund would ultimately boost enterprise competitiveness and expand the economic base of Nigeria. The ERGP seeks to stimulate Nigeria’s economic development, foster macroeconomic stability, foster diversification of the economy and enhance social inclusion alongside governance, according to him.
The AfDB disclosed that the selection of tier 2 Nigerian bank for his seven-year credit scheme was a decision came to based on Fidelity Bank’s formidable niche presence in the SME and mid-sized corporate space. It is also a move to recognize the bank’s credit management and a strong track record with the AfDB.
Fidelity Bank had received USD 18 Mn and USD 75 Mn lines of credit from the development finance institution in 2001 and 2013, respectively.
The Senior Director of AfDB’s Nigeria Country office, Ebrima Faal, remarked that Fidelity Bank is a niche player that is focused on SMEs, adding that the USD 50 Mn credit will contribute to strengthening its presence in its key market segments.
The credit line to Fidelity Bank is consistent with its ten-year strategy, also aligning with two of its high 5 priorities – industrializing Africa and improving the quality of life for African people.
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