Lagos, January 20, 2014—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to invest NGN 650 million
(about $4 million) in Nigerian microfinance institution Grooming Centre
to increase access to finance for up to 780,000 microenterprises by 2018.
The project will improve financial inclusion, and promote job creation
and growth in Nigeria.
IFC’s local currency loan will help Grooming
Centre offer increased financial services to economically active low income
earners engaged in small-scale trading and productive microenterprises.
Grooming Centre will use IFC’s funding to reach entrepreneurs in more
than half of Nigeria’s 36 states, including those in remote rural areas
largely unserved by other lenders.
Dr. Godwin Nwabunka, Chief Executive Officer
of Grooming Centre, said, “Grooming Centre’s mission is to empower the
economically active low income earners by bringing a range of tailor-made
microfinance services to their doorstep using globally-tested best practice
methodologies. Our partnership with IFC will help us strengthen the microfinance
market in Nigeria, expand our coverage on a sustainable basis, and create
greater income for our members.”
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager
for Nigeria, said,
“IFC is supporting Grooming Centre to improve financial inclusion and
help grow Nigeria’s economy. This loan will provide local currency finance
and empower entrepreneurs and microenterprises that cannot yet access the
formal banking sector.”
Grooming Centre provides access to finance
for entrepreneurs at the base of Nigeria’s economic pyramid. It currently
serves over 300,000 member clients with loans as small as NGN 30,000 (about
$200). The organization has built a NGN 7 billion loan portfolio and employs
over 1,200 people.
IFC aims to promote financial sector diversification
through specialized products, including trade finance, housing finance,
insurance, and micro-, small-
finance. Over the years, IFC has invested in excess of $10 billion in more
than 60 local currencies around the world to help protect borrowing companies
from currency risk by enabling them to borrow in the same currency in which
they generate revenue.
In microfinance, IFC is a leading investor
in Sub-Saharan Africa with a fast-growing, well-performing portfolio of
equity, debt and advisory projects. IFC’s portfolio includes investments
in 26 microfinance institutions in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,
which reach over 3 million microenterprises and low-income households.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we
use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time
high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org