International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US government’s development finance institution, signed a commitment letter for $280 million in financing for Nigeria’s Access Bank.

The loan will help address the financing gap of at least 4,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and advance financial inclusion in Nigeria. It will also encourage the bank’s commitment to supporting women-owned businesses in Nigeria.

The loan proceeds will be on-lent across more than a dozen sectors in the Nigerian economy, with specific focus on women-owned SMEs, and on loans with longer tenors, which will provide more flexibility to borrowers, according to a statement from DFC.

Furthermore, DFC financing for Access Bank will provide needed liquidity given the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to utilizing the partnership with DFC in driving further economic expansion and inclusion in Nigeria, with a strong focus on non-oil sectors and women businesses,” Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Bank, said in a statement.

Access Bank is one of the largest banks in Nigeria and has banking subsidiaries throughout Africa.  Citibank acted as the coordinator and arranger/co-lender to help facilitate the loan.

(Editing by Seban Scaria )