First Bank of Nigeria says its new partnership CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution on a $100 million finance facility will help direct funding to women-owned and led businesses as well as to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
The deal will support FirstBank to deliver financial solutions that help to address the challenge of limited access to capital faced by underbanked and underserved groups in the country.
As part of the new facility, a minimum of US$30 million will be allocated in the form of credit lines to women entrepreneurs. The facility will also support FirstBank’s ‘FirstGem’ gender-focused services offering, which takes steps to promote gender inclusion by improving lending and support to female entrepreneurs.
The new partnership between CDC, which will be renamed British International Investment in April, and FirstBank demonstrates a shared mission to spur sustainable, productive and inclusive growth in Nigeria.
CDC’s commitment will facilitate an expanded offer by FirstBank to its clientele, which will accelerate financial inclusion and increase opportunities for marginalized groups, including an estimated 59 million unbanked Nigerians, to participate in the country’s formal economy.
According to Chief Executive of CDC Group, Nick O’Donohoe, promoting financial inclusion is a key component for advancing sweeping productive and sustainable growth across both rural and urban areas in Nigeria.
Reacting to the new partnership, Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank said beyond the mutual benefits the partnership offers to both organisations, the transaction offers yet another occasion for FirstBank to contribute immensely, to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.