Washington, D.C., May 30, 2002 - The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the
World Bank Group, will provide a US$30 million line of credit to United
Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), a Nigerian commercial bank.
The agreement was signed in Washington, D.C. on May 21 by IFC Executive
Vice President, Peter Woicke and UBA Chairman Hakeem Belo-Osagie. Also
present at the signing was Richard H. Kaijuka, World Bank Group Alternate
Mr. Woicke said at the signing, “We hope the project will strengthen Nigeria’s
financial sector and help to address the need for long-term private sector
UBA will use IFC’s financing to make loans to private Nigerian enterprises
in the manufacturing, telecommunications, agribusiness, transport, and
service sectors. Over the past decade, persistent economic and political
uncertainty combined with governance issues has curtailed private sector
investment in Nigeria, which requires massive investments to replace decaying
infrastructure and restore private sector operational capacity.
IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing
countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC
finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes
capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC
committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion
in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s
committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.