Lagos, Nigeria, January 27, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1.1 million (174.5 million
Nigerian naira) alongside Advans S.A., German development bank KfW, and
Dutch development bank FMO to establish La Fayette Microfinance Bank in
Oyo State, Nigeria.
La Fayette, which is expected to start
operations during the fourth quarter of 2012, will serve small and medium
enterprises that have limited or no access to formal banking services.
Financial surveys indicate that only one in five Nigerian adults owns a
bank account, and over half of the country’s adult population is
excluded from access to financial services.
“With the objective of becoming the
leading microfinance bank in Oyo State, La Fayette will address a critical
gap by providing quality financial services to help small businesses grow
and create jobs,” said Claude Falgon, Director of Advans S.A.
Advans S.A. will be La Fayette’s lead
shareholder with an equity investment of $3.1 million (501.0 million naira).
IFC and KfW are each investing $1.1 million (174.5 million naira), while
FMO is investing $940,000 (150.0 million naira).
Within five years, La Fayette expects
to establish 11 branches, broadening access to finance and stimulating
economic growth across Oyo State.
“Microfinance is a vital tool in the
fight against poverty and forms a core part of IFC’s efforts to support
small-scale entrepreneurs in Africa,” said Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s
Country Manager for Nigeria. “In Nigeria, IFC aims to increase the number
of commercially viable microfinance institutions, especially in under-served
areas like Oyo State, so that a vibrant private sector can give rise to
IFC has a long-standing partnership
with Advans S.A., which is building a network of microfinance institutions
in developing countries across Africa and Asia. IFC is also a shareholder
of Advans network banks in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The Nigeria investment reaffirms IFC’s partnership
with Advans SA. to support entrepreneurs in Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Advans S.A.
Advans S.A. Sicar (Advans S.A.) is headquartered
in Luxembourg and was launched in December 2005. Its mission is to build
a network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing and emerging
countries to cater to the financial needs of micro, small, and medium sized
enterprises, which have limited or no access to formal banking services.
The Advans network currently spans six countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Tanzania. Advans
MFIs serve more than 286,000 loan clients from 85 branches, and have an
outstanding loan portfolio of €95 million. Over the next three years,
Advans SA plans to establish six to seven new MFIs in Africa, Asia, and
the Middle-East. For more information, please visit www.advansgroup.com.