By Dipo Olowookere A funding package worth $35 million has been secured by Wema Bank Plc from two international banks to support the growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Information made available to Business Post revealed that Wema Bank signed a Line of Credit Agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB), which has already disbursed the $15 million agreed by both parties. Also, the innovative bank, which pioneered Africa\u2019s first fully digital bank called ALAT, has secured a $20 million LOC from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). The agreement was signed at the 3rd Africa Islamic Finance Forum. Commenting on the development, Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, explained that the funds will help bolster the bank\u2019s vision of building a sustainable retail sector by supporting micro, small and medium scale enterprises. SMEs are one of the greatest contributors to Nigeria\u2019s economic growth. Research has shown that the sector has a similar effect worldwide, contributing to over 55 percent of GDP and over 65 percent of total employment in high-income countries. Also, SMEs account for over 60 percent of GDP and over 70 percent of total employment in low-income countries, while they contribute over 95 percent of total employment and about 70 percent of GDP in middle-income countries. \u201cWe believe efforts like this, ultimately helps to create jobs, accelerate industrialization, redistribute wealth and fight poverty,\u201d Mr Oloketuyi said. Wema Bank, through its newly-launched ALAT, the first fully digital bank in Africa, will deploy the line of credit towards bolstering funding for SMEs in Nigeria. On his part, Acting CEO and General Manager of ICD, Mr Mohammed Al Ammari, confirmed his excitement about the partnership, stressing that it will further deepen its footprint in Africa, where a significant portion of its investment portfolio is domiciled. \u201cICD\u2019s line of investment portfolio has been heavily concentrated in Africa over the years, seeking opportunities to grow funding for SMEs and provide economic-stimulating investments within the region,\u201d he said. Wema Bank has continued to grow its capacity to provide solutions tailored to suit the lifestyle of its customers and built to deliver value to all stakeholders. Last May, the lender launched ALAT, a digital bank that allows you open an fully-functional account without visiting a physical branch. Wema Bank incentivizes savings by putting a 10 percent interest rate on savings goal. ALAT customers can also save together as a group in a model similar to the popular Ajo or Esusu. In reaching out to the unbanked and underbanked, the Bank also introduced Agent Banking services in all regions of the country. Through agents signed on to the service, Wema Bank takes banking services to existing customers and prospects wherever they may be.