IFC Supports FCMB to Finance SMEs

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, on Thursday announced a $50m loan to First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) to help it expand lending to small and medium enterprises whose business activities had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement from the FCMB said the financing support package reflected IFC’s commitment to Nigeria’s private sector, following the severe challenges brought by the health and economic crisis.

It said the funds would allow the FCMB to support hundreds of businesses with trade financing and working capital loans.

The Chief Executive, FCMB, Adam Nuru, said, “IFC’s loan facility will allow us to keep credit flowing to SMEs as well as corporate companies across all sectors of Nigeria’s economy, including in the health, pharmaceutical, food and trading industries.”

IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Eme Lore, said, “Supporting financial institutions like FCMB is vital to keeping smaller businesses solvent, saving jobs, and limiting economic damage in the face of a challenge as formidable as COVID-19.

“Although Nigeria has a strong and dynamic private sector, it needs liquidity now to ensure it remains viable during and after COVID-19.”

The statement said IFC’s $8bn global COVID-19 fast-track facility was launched in March 2020 to support existing clients through direct lending to affected companies, and to financial institutions so they could continue lending to their clients and help to preserve and create jobs.

“IFC’s portfolio in the country stands at $1.3 billion in sectors including manufacturing, financial services, infrastructure and technology,” it said.

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