The European Investment Bank (EIB) said it is supporting 65 Nigerian companies with 87 million euros and 650m euros through direct and indirect investment funds respectively in 2018.
The bank’s Head of Regional Representation for West Africa, Isabella Van Grunderbeeck, stated this in Abuja during the presentation of EIB’s activities in the country.
She said Nigeria is the biggest beneficiary of EIB’s investment funds in SMEs, noting that since 2010, the bank has disbursed €296m for SMEs under seven facilities signed with nine Nigerian banks.
The bank’s focus areas, she said, included, private sector development through enhanced access to finance particularly for SMEs and microenterprises.
“Sectors covered include; wholesale & retail trade, education, manufacturing, construction, transportation, accommodation, human health, information & communication, electricity & gas, agriculture, scientific & technical activities,” Grunderbeeck added.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, commended the EIB’s investments in the Nigerian economy.
She said the bank’s investment plan would complement the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Over the past 20 years, EIB had facilitated numerous public private sector driven projects totalling about 1.60 billion euros in Nigeria in the areas of agriculture, power, transportation and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
“The bank’s recent commitment to make available between 800m and 1bn euros for public sector investment, demonstrates the growing EU-Nigeria ties and EU confidence in the Nigerian economy,” she also stated.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Katil Karlsen, said the EIB investment was parts of the European Union’s engagement with Nigeria to address the issue of migration and mobility.
Source: Daily Trust