The African Development Bank (AfDB) has lent US$300mn to First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and US$50mn to FSDH Merchant Bank Nigeria for trade finance purposes.

The facilities are part of the AfDB’s efforts to provide support to the Nigerian economy at a time of falling oil prices, which have resulted in foreign currency shortages and unmet trade finance demand. They will help local companies involved in international trade access the financing they need.

Sectors such as agribusiness, chemicals, construction, engineering, food processing, manufacturing and non-traditional exports will be prioritised in the disbursing of trade finance loans.

The AfDB estimates that US$2.5bn of export-import-related activity could be facilitated over a 3.5-year period if the loans are fully utilised.

FBN is a leading provider of trade finance in Nigeria, with over 960 branches across 12 countries. FSDH is Nigeria’s largest merchant bank and specialises in providing finance and advice to emerging local corporates involved in manufacturing, industry and services and agribusiness.