FBN, Chinese Bank Agree on $100m SME Facility Deal

Bisi-OnasanyFirst Bank of Nigeria Limited has signed a $100 million facility agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB), a leading bank in the Peoples’ Republic of China.

The facility was part of the bank’s effort to boost lending to small and medium scale enterprises in the country to stimulate the economy.

Mr. Bisi Onasanya , group managing director/chief executive officer, First Bank is a member of the federal government’s delegation to China. The delegation also includes four state governors and 10 ministers.

According to the document signed by the management of the two banks, both financial institutions would work together to further strengthen the business cooperation between both parties within the framework of each party’s respective articles and memoranda of association and applicable laws and regulations in Nigeria and China.

Specifically, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides for a comprehensive cooperation between First Bank and China Development Bank for on-lending of the facility to small and medium enterprises in Nigeria, while also touching areas such as credit lines, trade, syndication and project, consultancy services, sharing of business experience and foreign exchange transactions.

Commenting on the MoU, Onasanya said the partnership with CDB was in line with First Bank’s strategic focus on financial inclusion as it would address the challenges of credit delivery to the unbanked market’s segment in Nigeria through mobilised funds that would avail credit facilities to registered SME operators at concessionary rate.

He said in addition to disbursing funds, the bank would support SMEs through business advisory services, capacity building and development of relevant IT infrastructure.

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