The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has contributed over $1.1 billion in interventions for 20,500 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
It claimed that this has resulted in the creation of over 440,000 employment in Nigeria, with women and youth accounting for 60% of the workforce.
Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, stated this on Thursday at the African Small and Medium Enterprise Immersion Fund Roundtable hosted by Access Bank PLC in Lagos.
Mr Lamin Barrow, Director-General of the AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department, represented Adesina. He also stated that the bank has launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa.
He said, “In Nigeria, the Bank has 8 active LOCs targeting SMEs valued at $1.1bn. Our interventions have supported over 20,500 MSMES and have contributed to the creation of over 440,000 jobs, with women and the youth accounting for 60 per cent.
“The Bank has also launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa as a flagship initiative to close the $42bn access to finance gap for women led and owned SMSEs. Through AFAWA, the Bank will facilitate up to $5bn in credit access to women SMEs by 2026.”
He also said that the MSMEs in Nigeria employed about 77 per cent of the workforce and were dominated by women who faced greater challenges in accessing affordable finance and non-financial services due to gender biases in property rights limiting their ability to collateralise their loans.
He further noted that the growth of MSMEs had been constrained by many factors, including poor access to affordable finance, perceptions of high default risk due to key man risks, information asymmetries and other challenges related to their informality.