The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has signed an agreement with WEMA Bank Plc, Nigeria providing a USD50 Million line of credit to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agro-business sector in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The signing ceremony took place on November 20th, 2023, at the Bank’s Headquarters in Lomé, Togolese Republic.
In his address, Dr George Agyekum Donkor, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBID, affirmed that the collaboration with Wema Bank Plc was aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goals 2 and 5 which tackle food security and gender equality respectively. First, Dr Donkor noted with great satisfaction that a portion of the resources had been earmarked to support female-led enterprises, which are key contributors to the economic ecosystem. He then concluded by emphasizing the need to continue providing actors in the agricultural sector with resources to enhance their products, add value to the regional chain and increase the returns from trade for socio-economic growth.
In response, Mr. Moruf Oseni, CEO of WEMA Bank Plc, stated that the alignment of shared developmental objectives between the two institutions was a driving factor for the strategic partnership. Mr Oseni assured that at the heart of WEMA Bank Plc’s mission, is a desire to reduce poverty by creating jobs and building sustainable businesses especially SMEs which are the backbone of the Nigerian economy. He expressed his hope that the facility was just the beginning of a long and mutually-rewarding relationship between EBID and WEMA Bank.
The facility brings EBID’s total commitments in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to a total of about USD 361.4 million for both private and public sector projects and is in line with its Strategy of reaching out to SMEs across the sub-region, via partnerships with local banks.
ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) is the development finance institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) comprising fifteen (15) Member States namely, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Based in Lomé, Togolese Republic, the Bank is committed to financing developmental projects and programmes covering diverse initiatives from infrastructure and basic amenities, rural development and environment, industry, and social services sectors, through its private and public sector windows. EBID intervenes through long, medium, and short-term loans, equity participation, lines of credit, refinancing, financial engineering operations, and related services.