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AfDB Gives UBA $150m To Boost SMEs


By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A deal to finance infrastructure and SME projects, including women-owned enterprises in Nigeria, has been signed between the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).

Business Post gathered that the agreement involves a loan of $150 million that would be used to support development of productive sectors of the economy; particularly the power sector, infrastructure, women owned enterprises as well as SMEs.

The deal was sealed on Wednesday between the two organisations.

Speaking on the development, the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, noted that, “This line of credit comes at an opportune time and would boost efforts at reducing the huge power sector-financing deficit that is limiting energy supply and complement our support to medium and small scale enterprises while also promoting gender diversification across the value chain.”

He expressed confidence that the loan would go a long way to boost businesses in the country.

Also commenting on the deal, the Principal Investment Officer of AfDB, Mr Kazuhiro Numasawa, observed that by leveraging UBA’s branch network, the line of credit would also scale up lending to SMEs and women enterprises in both urban and rural areas to create more jobs and to promote inclusive growth for Nigeria’s economy by stimulating the various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, education and services.

“UBA Nigeria has been the leading financial institution to support various infrastructure projects, particularly power, telecom, transport and also social infrastructure such as hospital and education facilities, and received Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award in 2015,” he said while noting that UBA Nigeria operates in each of the country’s 36 states through more than 450 branches supporting 3,700 SMEs across the country.

AfDB has remained UBA’s long-term partner in its financing activities.

In 2009, the financial institution provided liquidity facilities to deepen its trade finance and other lending activities, thus, contributing to key economic sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly at a time when the economy requires critical funding to stimulate growth and employment.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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