By Nwakpa O Nwakpa
Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, andDeutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, the German Development Finance Institution, have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.
To this end, both institutions signed $50m Term Facility Agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses in Nigeria.
UBA America’s Chief Executive Officer, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country. She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organisations to collaborate on this laudable feat.
Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organizations, said, “At UBA Group, we are proud of this collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports our financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.
Continuing, she said, “These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent.”
In his comments, DEG’s Regional Director for West Africa, Bernhard Tilemann, said, “DEG is delighted to enter into a long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region. This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent.”
According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100% subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).
The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.