By LAIDE AKINBOADE
The European Union Investment Bank (EIB), said it has so far invested €296 million in Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in Nigeria in the last 8 years.
EIB’s regional representative for West Africa, Isabelle Grunderbeeck, stated this at EIB’s interactive meeting with its clients and other stakeholders in Abuja.
She said €87m has been invested in 65 companies through the investment funds. According to her, “Since 2010, EIB disbursed €296 million under 7 facilities signed with 8 Nigerian banks with €230 million for 50 sub-projects disbursed to be lent in foreign currency.
“Average allocation amount per project was €4.5 million. Sectors covered are wholesale and retail trade, education, manufacturing, construction, transportation, human health, information and communication, electricity, gas and agriculture.
“In 2018, EIB disbursed €17 million equity participation in Development Bank of Nigeria funding intermediaries for on lending to Micro, Small and Medium enterprises in local currency. 65 companies benefitted, €6M on indirect disbursements and €87 million in direct disbursement and since 2003, 90 companies, €850 million indirect and €113 direct disbursements,” Grunderbeeck stated.
ETB is the largest multilateral lender and borrower in the world. They raise their funds through international capital markets.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, commended the EIB’s plan to invest between 800 million euros and one billion euros in the Nigerian economy.
Ahmed who spoke on behalf of the Federal Government, said, “over the past 20 years, EIB has facilitated numerous public-private sector driven projects totaling about 1.60 billion euros in Nigeria in the areas of agriculture, power transportation, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
“All of these have significant impact on the employment and has significantly contributed to the turn around of the industrialisation efforts of the government.
“The Bank’s recent commitment to make available between 800 million and one billion euros for public sector investment demonstrates the growing EU-Nigeria ties and EU confidence in the Nigeria economy.”
The Minister lauded the bank’s activities in Nigeria, stressing that it had impacted positively on the nation’s economy.
“As the EIB celebrates its 60 years of establishment and service to humanity, we wish to congratulate you and to see that the work you do is actually directly complimenting the Nigeria economic recovery and Growth plan (ERGP)
“The ERGP is a short medium term that seeks to economy and to assist to grow the Nigeria economy in manner that is both sustainable and inclusive.
“The ERGP was designed to leverage the power of the private sector and you are directly contributing through that.
“We had the plan in our budget to graciously provide funds to crowd in more fund, we appreciate the various instrumentality of the various packages that you have,” she added.
The minister urged the bank to make its presence stronger in Nigeria by having a Nigerian branch.