The European Investment Bank and United Bank for Africa have signed an agreement to support private sector investment across Nigeria. The development will allow UBA to provide longer term funding to private companies in Nigeria.
In a statement by UBA, the new private sector lending programme agreement was sealed on the side-lines of the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC, the United States, by the Vice President, EIB, Ambroise Fayolle; and the Group Managing Director, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka.
The statement quoted Fayolle as saying, “Private sector investment is crucial for creating jobs and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to unlocking investment across Africa and we are pleased to build on past success to strengthen our partnership with UBA that will benefit projects across Nigeria.”
Uzoka was quoted to have said, “Our growing partnership with the European Investment Bank underlines our long-term objective of facilitating the development and growth of African businesses. This facility will enable UBA bridge critical financing gaps for Nigerian companies and deepen our capacity to support their growth aspirations in the local and international market place.”
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Michel Arrion, described the programme as an example of the catalytic role the EU and its institutions like the EIB were playing to support Nigeria’s economic development.
“We look forward to more fruitful partnerships with Nigeria, and particularly with the private sector, which remains the engine of economic growth,” he added.
Under the new initiative, private sector entrepreneurs and companies will be able to use loans with a longer tenor than traditionally available to invest and expand activities across a range of sectors.
The new loan will also fund capital expenditure by UBA to strengthen their support for private investment, through expansion of their branch network and improving information technology.
The EIB has supported infrastructure and private sector investment in Nigeria since 1978.
The EIB is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last five years has provided EUR 12.8bn for investment across Africa.