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AfDB Okays €70m Loan, $24m Equity Investment for West African Development Bank

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West African Development Bank

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a line of credit of €70 million and an equity investment of $24 million for West African Development Bank.

The line of credit will support businesses in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, particularly in job-creating sectors such as agribusiness, renewable energy, health and information and telecommunication, which were drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The €70 million forms part of a €150 million facility, which will be co-financed along with other development finance institutions.

The $24 million equity investment is part of a capital increase transaction, which will allow the AfDB to increase its shareholding from 0.55 per cent to one per cent, and therefore retain its seat on the Board of Directors of the regional financial institution.

In addition, the Abidjan-based bank will assist the West African lender, through funding from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative to set up a technical assistance program to mainstream gender aspects in its project review process and to promote women’s entrepreneurship.

The project is projected to help to create or consolidate at least 5,900 jobs, including 2,000 to women.

The facility is strongly aligned with three of the Bank High 5 strategic priorities, namely Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa and Improve the quality of life of Africans.

AfDB Group as Africa’s premier development finance institution comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).

On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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MTN Assures Nigerians Affordable Financial Services as MoMo PSB Begins Operations

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MoMo PSB

By Adedapo Adesanya

MTN Nigerian Communications Plc has announced that its fintech subsidiary, MoMo PSB Limited, has formally commenced commercial operations in the country.

In a notice on Thursday at the Nigerian Exchange, MTN said the development followed a successful pilot initiated on May 16, 2022, in commemoration of the launch of its GSM operations on May 16, 2001, and listing by introduction on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on May 16, 2019.

“Indeed, this is a key milestone in delivering the company’s Ambition 2025 strategic priorities,” the notice said.

The company said with an expansive agent network of over 166,000 active agents and digitized partnership infrastructure, MoMo PSB “is poised to enable millions of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians to access a wide range of financial service products.

“MoMo PSB will continue to scale its agent network in order to reach Nigerians across the country and remove friction from everyday payment by digitizing cash payment.

“By dialling *671# on any network, customers can open a MoMo wallet, send money to any phone number in the country and pay their bills.

“In addition, MoMo wallets in the future will enable Nigerians in the Diaspora to send money to any phone number in the country, an important feature given Nigeria’s ranking as the destination for the highest remittance inflow in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, appreciated the support and guidance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the process and noted that this will help the country’s financial inclusion.

“This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the government’s drive towards financial inclusion in Nigeria. Not just for those in urban centres and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system,” he stated.

On his part, MoMo PSB CEO, Mr Usoro Usoro said: “Providing easy to use, accessible and affordable financial services to all Nigerians is essential to executing the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy and digital inclusion agenda of the Minister of communications and Digital Economy.

“We look forward to playing our part and are excited about the opportunities to partner with relevant institutions across various sectors to co-create and expand access nationwide.”

This is coming on the same day that MTN’s rival, Airtel announced its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

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Banking

Airtel Commences SmartCash Payment Operations in Nigeria

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SmartCash Payment

By Adedapo Adesanya

Airtel Africa has announced that its subsidiary, SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (SmartCash PSB), has commenced operations in Nigeria.

Services will initially be available at selected retail touchpoints, and operations will be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months.

Speaking on the development, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa chief executive officer, said, “I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country.

“To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.”

This is coming less than one month after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted the company the license to operate mobile money services in the country.

The licence will enable the telco to expand its digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not currently have access to traditional financial services.

It will also be able to augment plans by the Nigerian Government, the CBN, and traditional financial institutions to further deepen financial inclusion in the country for the benefit of all citizens and the Nigerian economy.

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services with a presence in 14 countries across Africa.

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Banking

Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Introduces Education Loans

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Advans La Fayette

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading microfinance bank supporting small businesses, Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank Limited, has introduced education loans aimed to provide funding support to school owners and parents.

A statement from the small lending institution said the education loan products created for its customers are the Advans School Boost, Advans Eduloan and Advans Kiddies.

It was explained that the Advans School Boost is a product designed to provide working and investment capital for school owners, Advans Eduloan is to assist parents to pay their children’s school fees with ease, while the Advans Kiddies is high-yield savings account to help parents save towards the future of their children while still earning interest.

According to the Marketing and Communication Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Mr Kayode Abraham, “The process of accessing the education loans is neither rigorous nor daunting.”

“Simply visit our website: www.advansnigeria.com to complete the application form and receive the funds immediately, if eligible,” he advised.

The Project Manager of Advans La Fayette MFB, Ms Fanny Belhomme, stated that, “Advans School Boost allows school owners to access loans up to N75 million to cover school expenses. The loan has a very competitive interest rate, a flexible repayment plan and no hidden costs.

“Parents can access up to N500,000 with the Advans Eduloan, to pay their children’s school fees. The loan is easy to access, with a low-interest rate and flexible repayment plans,” she added.

The Managing Director of the lender, Mr Gaëtan Debuchy, while speaking at the unveiling of the products at the Shoregate Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, disclosed that the firm came up with the loan packages because “we recognised that lack of finance is one of the biggest banes of education.”

“Emboldened by the fact that investment in quality education yields the best dividend, we created these products to offer solutions to the challenge. As a leading microfinance bank, we are focused on providing premium financial services to our customers,” he added.

Advans Nigeria is a member of Advans Group; a leading international microfinance group currently serving over 1.1 million clients in 10 countries including Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia and Myanmar.

For more than 15 years, the bank has offered a complete range of financial services that has helped build over 4 million small businesses.

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