By Amaka Agwuegbo
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed a senior Loan of $50 million under the AfDBâ€™s Emergency Liquidity Facility (ELF) to Zenith Bank Plc.
Signing the loan agreement, AfDB Private Sector Operations Director, Mr. Tim Turner, said it was consistent with its focus on support to the real sector.
â€œThis loan is consistent with our focus on support to the real sector, and Zenith Bank will channel the loan proceeds to deserving projects, thereby playing a critical role in accelerating growth and creating employment.â€
According to Turner, this facility will enable Zenith Bank to expand credit to productive sectors of the Nigerian economy at a time when liquidity is still tight and credit markets remain constrained even as the global financial crisis has begun to ease.
He also added that priority will be given to selected projects with growth potential in key sectors of the economy, and demonstrate high development impact, as well asÂ strong SME linkages.
Turner underscored the importance of this loan and stated that â€œregional commercial banks such as Zenith Bank have an important role to play in accelerating Africaâ€™s economic growth, social development and economic integration of our nations.
â€œThe AfDB is committed to supporting these institutions with comprehensive assistance such as this loan to Zenith Bank. â€œWe hope that this support will go a long way in strengthening Zenith Bank and enhancing the impact of its operations in Nigeria.â€
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms. Pamela Yough, General Manager, Zenith Bank Plc, stated that the continued beneficial relationship between the AfDB and Zenith Bank is attested to the confidence of international financial institutions in our bank.
â€œWe believe development will encourage Nigerian entrepreneurs with bankable projects to approach the African Development Bank for funding.
â€œThis partnership will impact positively on the Nigerian economy through funding of large scale infrastructural projects.â€