Union Bank of Nigeria has received a ten-year term loan of USD 200 Mn in funding from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s long standing commercial banks, secured the funding via a partnership with financial services holding company, Atlas Mara Limited and in agreement with OPIC.
Under terms and agreements, the funding will be used to drive digitization and fund women-led businesses as well as small and medium sized enterprises.
The funding is in line with OPIC’s USD 1 Bn 2X Women’s Initiative which was to support women-led funds or businesses or businesses specifically catering to women’s needs. OPIC, which is the U.S Government’s development finance instituion, had set out to unlock the multi-trillion dollar opportunity women hold by funding projects that supported women.
“We welcome this partnership with OPIC as we are well-positioned in Nigeria to further advance lending to key segments of the population, especially SMEs. The 10-year tenor of the OPIC facility provides flexibility to maximize impact across key sectors of the Nigerian economy as we continue to advance proven initiatives including those focused on women’s banking and financial inclusion,” said Emeka Emuwa, CEO of Union Bank.
The funding aligns with Union Bank’s commitment to support women’s capacity building. The bank celebrated International Women’s Day this year with the launch of ‘Alpher’, a platform keen on empowering women through capacity building opportunities, networking platforms, scholarships and tailored financial services for women.
On the funding, David Bohigian, Acting President and CEO of OPIC noted that “OPIC is delighted to partner with Atlas Mara and the team at Union Bank to drive inclusive lending in Nigeria. This funding benefits SMEs and women and will help serve the needs of underbanked and unbanked individuals and businesses while fostering entrepreneurship and economic development across Nigeria.”
The bank also launched ‘Startup Connect’, a business acceleration program that matches Nigeria’s tech-enabled startups to the bank’s brand for mutual beneficial collaboration.
Feature photo courtesy: Business Post Nigeria
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