- UBA has announced plans to give out loans to mechanics, farmers, and other small businesses
- It said the decision was informed by its recent agreement with the AfCFTA secretariat
- The bank noted that this was part of its commitment to supporting the development of businesses
Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over 3-year-experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market
The United Bank for Africa Plc plans to assist Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in four sectors with the $6 billion facility from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.
The sectors are agro-processing, automotive, pharmaceuticals, transport, and logistics.
Development to promote the growth of SMEs
In a statement, Muyiwa Akinyemi, UBA's Deputy Managing Director, said this on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, during the Africa Day celebration at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair.
Akinyemi said that the decision was informed by its recent agreement with the AfCFTA Secretariat.
He noted that the $6 billion financing would be provided to businesses that qualify across the continent for the next three years.
According to a Punch report, he said that the agreement was signed with the AfCFTA on the sidelines of the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting held in Accra, Ghana.
By this agreement, he explained that both parties will be able to "promote the development of SMEs operating in Four sectors under the 1st phase of the partnership."
He said that the area of focus is mainly import-dependent on providing technical and financing solutions for intra-African/domestic alternatives.
Akinyemi added that one of the critical initiatives of the AfCFTA is geared towards improving access to finance and markets for SMEs. He said this would encourage the businesses' growth and contribution to the socio-economic development of Africa.
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According to him, UBA remains committed to supporting the development of businesses across Africa in line with its strategic focus on the SME segment.
He added that the loan will help to develop the capacity for growth across the 20 African countries it operates.
Notably, this comes after UBA took over the assets of Stallion Nigeria Limited and its affiliates in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Kano.
This followed a Federal High Court order in Lagos in an alleged N156 billion debt suit against the company.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that UBA topped the list of Nigerian banks with the highest earnings from PoS, USSD, and others.
Access leads, UBA 3rd: Top Nigerian banks with highest loan amounts to customers in 2023
Nigerian banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange have significantly increased their lending to customers during the first half of 2023, Legit.ng earlier reported.
Data obtained by Legit.ng showed that eleven banks, as of the end of June 2023, disbursed N26.83 trillion to their customers.
The banks surveyed were First Bank Holding Company, Access Holding Company, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), United Bank for Africa (UBA), First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, and Wema Bank.