UBA, Germany partner on N25b loans for Nigerian SMEs

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), the German development finance institution, have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.


Both institutions have signed a $50 million term-facility agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses.


Chief Executive Officer, UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country.


She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organisations to collaborate on this laudable feat.


Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organisations, said UBA Group was proud of the collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.


“These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent,” Yomi-Ajayi said.


Regional Director, West Africa,  DEG, Bernhard Tilemann, said the development finance institution was delighted to enter into a long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region.


“This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent,” Tilermann said.


According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100 pe r cent subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).


The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.


With its portfolio of around EUR 8.5 billion in approximately 80 countries, DEG is one of the world’s largest private-sector development financiers. For almost 60 years, DEG has been a partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. It provides customers with tailor-made solutions, including financing, promotional programmes and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs.


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