Access Bank secures $50m IFC loan to boost SMEs’ recovery – Access Bank is committed to helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, its Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe has said.
He spoke after the bank secured $50 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The funds, he said, would “help Access Bank Plc increase its liquidity to several Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in navigating the economic challenges of COVID-19”.
“In Nigeria, SMEs contribute over 45 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product, account for about 96 per cent of businesses and 84 per cent of employment.
‘’Access Bank, therefore, recognises the importance of SMEs to economic stability and is going the extra mile to ensure that such businesses are adequately financed to weather these testing times. IFC’s funding will not only enable us to extend financial relief to our clients across all sectors during the pandemic but beyond the COVID-19 crisis as well. Our partnership with IFC will help Nigerian businesses weather COVID-19 and set a course for recovery,” he added.
The funds from the loan, made through IFC’s global COVID-19 ‘Fast-track Financing Support Package’ will enable Access Bank to provide increased trade financing and working capital lending to its business clients experiencing disrupted cash flows, supporting businesses and preserving jobs.
IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, Eme Essien Lore, said: “It is crucial to support smaller businesses to keep the wheels of Nigeria’s economy turning during unprecedented economic challenge.