Zenith Bank to Access $100 Million COVID-19 Support fund from IFC
Africa’s sixth-largest bank, Zenith Bank Plc, is the first African Bank to access a $100 Million loan from International Financial Corporation (IFC) to battle the negative effect of the global health pandemic.
The world Bank Group reported that the investment is to enable Zenith Bank gain access to foreign currency, additional working capital and more fund for trading.
Accordingly, the loan will enable the bank to support Nigerian businesses in various sectors, strengthen operations, preserve employment and help gain access to required raw materials in this challenging economic period.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu said that IFC support will help the nation tackles the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“IFC’s support is essential and will help us respond to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will allow us to support compelling export initiatives and trade financing for critical goods and materials, especially for the medical and pharmaceuticals sectors. Our partnership with IFC is strong and we are committed to its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements,” he stated
The loan to Zenith Bank is part of the $8 billion COVID-19 global support finance package announced by the World Bank in the first quarter of the year to support businesses affected by the pandemic. Over 250 global clients have requested for financial support from the multilateral institution.
Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager in Nigeria, said, “IFC’s support for Nigeria’s banking sector will help keep the wheels of Nigeria’s economy turning at a time when it is facing a major challenge from COVID-19. Our experience from past shocks, including the global financial crisis in 2008, has taught us that keeping companies solvent is key to saving jobs and limiting economic damage.”
With the World Bank predicting Africa’s first recession in 25 years, the adverse effects of COVID-19 have seen the shutdown of businesses in Nigeria’s economy and other countries in Africa