At a ceremony held at the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, Melissa Jones, affirmed the U.S. government’s commitment to strengthen Nigeria’s health sector and private sector resilience with a new partnership agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, USAID and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will collaborate with FCMB to facilitate $10 million in loans. The new partnership will assist FCMB to expand access to finance for underserved borrowers, women and youth, the health sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Nigeria.

“I commend the DFC for its commitment to improving local access to quality healthcare. This partnership will help close the gap in healthcare financing. This means more Nigerians will have access to better healthcare facilities. First City Monument Bank welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with healthcare providers and small & medium enterprises nationwide to build a healthier, more productive future for our nation,” said FCMB Managing Director, Mrs Yemisi Edun.

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“As demonstrated by this partnership, the United States government is eager to continue collaborating with the financial sector to improve access to credit for underserved borrowers, especially women and youth, and thereby stimulate economic growth,” said USAID Mission Director Melissa Jones. “In addition to this health loan portfolio, we are committed to working with FCMB to disburse loans to the agriculture and renewable energy sectors through our existing partnerships.”

Loans will be used to support areas including hospitals, health centres, clinics, diagnostic centres, pharmacies, maternal health facilities, procurement of medical equipment, and construction and renovation of health facilities.

The bank’s focus will include MSMEs from all sectors of the economy, financial support for working capital, equipment procurement, construction, and restructuring of commercial properties for business.

The bank will support informal businesses, with priority for businesses in the informal sector and businesses owned and operated by youth and women.

USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help nations progress beyond assistance. In Nigeria, USAID supports humanitarian assistance, health systems strengthening, transparent and accountable governance, basic education, and a more market-led, trade-friendly economy.

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