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Dutch development bank, FCMB sign $25m agreement on SMEs support

9th Nigeria-EU business forum in Abuja

FMO, a Dutch development bank, and Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have signed a $25 million partnership to fund youth and women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

NASIRA — a European Union (EU) and Dutch government programme — was set up to support young, female, migrant and COVID-19 affected entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa and in countries bordering Europe.

The NASIRA programme to fund the aforementioned categories in Nigeria will be funded by the EU through FCMB.

Speaking during the ceremony on the sidelines of the 9th Nigeria-EU business forum in Abuja on Tuesday, Myriam Ferran, deputy director-general, directorate of international partnerships (INTPA) at the European Commission, said the fund would create employment for women and youth.

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“We are very happy to see that the EU investment instruments, such as the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) guarantees, have come to Nigeria to play a catalytic role in leveraging private sector investments for the benefit of the real sector, economic diversification and employment creation, especially for youth and women,” Ferran said.

The EU and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also launched the ‘Agribusiness Platform’ aimed at increasing private investments in the country’s agribusiness sector.

The platform will be a digital arena billed to provide digital marketing, trading or investment space for businesses and investors.

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