The African Development Bank has said that it has provided over $1.1bn worth of interventions for 20,500 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
It said that this had contributed to the creation of more than 440,000 jobs in Nigeria, with women and youths accounting for 60 percent.
The president of AfDB, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said this at the African Small and Medium Enterprise Immersion Fund Roundtable organized by Access Bank PLC in Lagos on Thursday.
Adesina was represented by the Director-General of the Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, Mr. Lamin Barrow.
According to him, the bank had also inaugurated the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa.
He said, “In Nigeria, the Bank has 8 active LOCs targeting SMEs valued at $1.1bn. Our interventions have supported over 20,500 MSMEs and have contributed to the creation of over 440,000 jobs, with women and the youth accounting for 60 percent.
“The Bank has also launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa as a flagship initiative to close the $42bn access to finance gap for women-led and owned SMEs. Through AFAWA, the Bank will facilitate up to $5bn in credit access to women SMEs by 2026.”
He also said that the MSMEs in Nigeria employed about 77 percent of the workforce and were dominated by women who faced greater challenges in accessing affordable finance and non-financial services due to gender biases in property rights limiting their ability to collateralize their loans.
He further noted that the growth of MSMEs had been constrained by many factors, including poor access to affordable finance, perceptions of high default risk due to key man risks, information asymmetries, and other challenges related to their informality.