BII, Access Bank seal $60m deal to boost trade in Nigeria
British International Investment (BII), the United Kingdom’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor has announced a $60 million trade finance facility for Access Bank Plc in Nigeria and five of its pan-African subsidiaries to boost import and export amongst local businesses and attract capital into the country.
The loan programme, which is expected to stimulate African trade volumes by $90 million, is part of efforts to deepen BII’s commitment to bolstering financing environments in fragile economies and supports Access Bank’s strategy to strengthen continental trade.
The agreement reinforces BII’s ongoing relationship with the bank to facilitate the provision of systemic liquidity during a period characterised by a challenging macroeconomic environment.
Recall that rising inflation and cost of capital have placed downward pressure on Nigerian currency and other target markets such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
According to Access Bank, interventions at this critical time underline the key role of BII and development finance institutions in general, in extending countercyclical support to build economic resilience.
The bank said it is aimed at providing 15 per cent of trade finance across Africa by growing the trade books of its subsidiaries, in recognising the positive ripple effects of robust trade flows on economies and livelihoods.
It noted that currency instability in Nigeria can hinder the wider proliferation of dollar-denominated trade loans across African markets, constraining countries’ ability to capitalise on opportunities opening up under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Reacting to the synergy, Executive Director, African Subsidiaries at Access Bank, Seyi Kumapayi, said: “Access Bank is on a purposeful mission to scale intra-African trade and position the continent as a viable market for global trade. Hence, we are thrilled about the tremendous potential that this trade finance facility with the BII affords us across our pan-African subsidiaries.
“This strategic collaboration not only strengthens our import and export capabilities but also expands our resources to support local industries, especially women-owned businesses and ultimately drive economic growth.”
Director and Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at BII, Admir Imami, said: “Access Bank is a long-standing partner of BII’s and our new partnership is a significant step closer to narrowing the trade finance gap in Africa, particularly in countries such as the DRC and Rwanda.
“BII and Access Bank share a conviction that building the resilience of these businesses by ensuring affordable access to foreign exchange is vital to keep intra-African trade moving and support the growth of inclusive economies.”
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