Lagos, Nigeria, November 17, 2003 — Peter
Woicke, executive vice president of the International Finance Corporation
(IFC) and managing director of the World Bank Group for Private Sector
Development, will visit Nigeria from November 19 to 22, 2003. IFC is the
private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
“I am glad to be visiting Nigeria once again,” Mr. Woicke said. “My
visit underlines the importance and continuing commitment that IFC attaches
to its work in Nigeria, and it gives me an opportunity to assess first
hand how the country is progressing with its reform agenda.”
During his visit, Mr. Woicke will share IFC’s new Africa strategy with
clients, government, industry leaders and entrepreneurs, and discuss ways
of enhancing IFC’s services and contributions. He will also meet with
the government’s economic management team to review Nigeria’s private
sector development priorities and ensure that IFC is in accord with the
new administration’s economic development program.
Mr. Woicke’s itinerary will include a call on President Obasanjo and a
meeting with Nigeria’s core economic team, including the finance minister.
He will meet IFC clients, potential clients and members of the donor and
diplomatic community. He will also participate in the opening ceremony
of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to emphasize IFC’s work in reviving the
Nigerian corporate bond market. He will take part in an event to mark IFC’s
investment in MTN Nigeria and attend a ceremony to commemorate IFC’s proposed
investment in a microfinance institution.
IFC’s strategic priorities in Nigeria include assisting small businesses
through providing technical assistance and financing; assisting the non-oil
sector, especially in financial restructuring and expanding nontraditional
exports; enhancing the domestic financial sector by providing resources
to commercial banks for medium-term lending; introducing new financial
products to enhance the development of Nigerian capital markets; and promote
privatization and private investments in infrastructure services.
IFC also works in Nigeria and throughout Africa through specialized facilities
such as the Africa Project Development Facility, which identifies African
entrepreneurs and helps them organize, diversify, and expand their businesses
by assisting them throughout the project preparation cycle. In addition,
IFC works through AMSCO (African Management Services Company), which helps
strengthen African enterprises by providing experienced managers and training
local management teams.
Notable recent projects include IFC's investment in cellular operator MTN
Nigeria, to which the Corporation provided a US$100 million financing package
— the largest IFC investment to date in the country. The $1.3 billion
project is being financed by a combination of debt, equity and standby
Another notable project is the microfinance institution investment with
ACCION International and a group of Nigerian banks. This project aims to
improve access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
The mission of IFC 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, helps clients
improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own
funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was
$16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants
in loan syndications