Agriculture continues to be the economic mainstay of a majority of Nigerians and employs more than half of the country’s active population, however investment is being held back by a shortage of credit. Proparco’s funding will enable Access Bank to offer agricultural businesses long-term funding – a scarce commodity on the Nigerian market. The aim is to provide financing for stakeholders right along the production chain, i.e., from planting to primary processing.
By boosting funding to agri-food businesses, this operation will help modernise the sector and create direct jobs (Access Bank currently employs over 3,000 people, 44% of whom are women) and indirect jobs by partnering local employers.
Access Bank is Nigeria’s fourth largest and one of Africa’s top 20 banks with a network of over 300 domestic branches and seven foreign subsidiaries. In the agri-food sector it partners SMEs, cooperatives and big businesses with a special focus on plantations and primary processing industries.
This is the second time Proparco has supported Access Bank: in 2012, Proparco granted a US$ 15 million line of credit to finance SMEs in countries where Access Bank Plc does business.