In a statement issued on Wednesday, Citi Nigeria said it has granted a loan of about N500 million to Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion MFB) in Nigeria to drive the development of the microfinance sector and bridge financial inclusion in the country.
The loan is aimed at funding Accion’s loan portfolio and support the development of approximately five thousand micro and small enterprises in the country.
Considering that about 34.9 million adult in Nigerians were excluded from financial services, the firm said the agreement would also support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) by reducing numbers of the unbanked in the society.
Chief Executive Officer, Akin Dawodu said: “Citi is committed to working with Microfinance partners in support of the national financial inclusion strategy by availing credit to micro and small enterprises in Nigeria.
“We are delighted to partner with microfinance enablers such as OPIC and Accion MFB for the benefit of SMEs and micro entrepreneurs, thereby contributing to the economic development of the country.”
Managing Director of Accion MfB, Bunmi Lawson, said the loan would enable the bank to expand its financial services to a larger number of micro entrepreneurs across the country, noting that the initiative would lead to economic empowerment and job creation for more Nigerians.
“We hope that other financial institutions will emulate Citibank by providing loans to the Microfinance banks which will in turn ensure that we truly meet the credit needs of the average Nigerian entrepreneur,” she said.Lawson said Accion MfB core values, business philosophy and methodology continue to distinguish it as the leading microfinance Bank in Nigeria.
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