The European Investment Bank (EIB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) have agreed on a new €60million lending programme to support private sector investment in Nigeria. The new agreement represents EIB’s largest ever loan to UBA and will give UBA the capacity to provide longer term loans traditionally available to companies in the country.
The new lending programme was formally agreed on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC by Mr. Ambroise Fayolle, EIB’s Vice President, UBA’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, and Sola Yomi-Ajayi. UBA’s Head of Global Financial Institutions.
“Private sector investment is crucial for creating jobs and ensuring sustainable economic growth. The European Investment Bank is committed to unlocking investment across Africa, and we are pleased to build on past success to strengthen our partnership with UBA that will benefit projects across Nigeria.” Said Mr. Fayolle.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Uzoka, said: “Our growing partnership with the European Investment Bank underlines our long-term objective of facilitating the development and growth of African businesses. This facility will enable UBA bridge critical financing gaps for Nigerian companies and deepen our capacity to support their growth aspirations in the local and international marketplace”
Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, described the programme as an example of the catalytic role the EU and its institutions like the EIB are playing to support Nigeria's economic development.
"We look forward to more fruitful partnerships with Nigeria, and particularly with the private sector, which remains the engine of economic growth".
The new agreement represents the first Nigerian operation under the EIB’s new dedicated Nigeria Private Enterprise Investment Facility, a wider million lending scheme intended to support private sector investment in the country. Under the initiative, private sector entrepreneurs and companies will be able to use loans with a longer tenor than traditionally available to invest and expand activities across a range of sectors. The new loan will also fund capital expenditure by UBA to strengthen their support for private investment, through expansion of their branch network and improving information technology.
The EIB has supported infrastructure and private sector investment in Nigeria since 1978. It is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last five years has provided €12.8 billion for investment across Africa.