The European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed the Nigeria Framework Loan which will provide up to EUR 240m to three Nigerian banks: FirstBank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank and Stanbic IBTC. The funding will be used to facilitate private and public private partnership infrastructure in the country and ensure continued investment in the sector. The Nigeria Framework Loan represents the largest single investment by the European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union.

“Nigeria has specific needs in infrastructure and the Nigeria Framework Loan will make a considerable contribution to improving infrastructure in the country. We look forward to working closely with three of the strongest banks in Nigeria to increase infrastructure finance in the country, following regulatory reforms and transformation of the banking sector.  The three banks should be commended for their leadership in governance, transparency and risk management” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa, speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.

"At FirstBank, our tradition of firm governance, financial strength, conservative management and depth of expertise equips us to help rebuild trust in our industry and create a more stable financial sector and we will take all necessary steps to ensure the effective administration of the Nigeria Framework Loan infrastructure facility are in place to enable its successful implementation” said Group Managing Director, Mr Bisi Onasanya.

Chris Newson, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC described the deal as “yet another indication of the Bank’s commitment to infrastructure development across Nigeria and compliments other existing sources of long term funding for the Bank. We are once again delighted to be working with the EIB and see this as a vote of confidence in the Bank as well as Nigeria’s long term potential.”

Vice President Sakellaris is currently on a week long visit to Nigeria and the signature follows meetings with Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, Ministers of Finance, Petroleum, Power, and National Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as European Ambassadors and members of the local business community.

The Nigeria Framework Loan will focus in infrastructure projects that promote economic development, foster private sector development and create a competitive business environment. These could include among others, projects in the energy, power, transport and telecommunications sectors, and associated manufacturing industries.

In 2009, the European Investment Bank provided over EUR 1.1bn [USD 1.5 bn] of funding to sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank provides a broad range of financing instruments including loans, guarantees and risk capital to Africa selecting projects that can deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits.

Notes for editors:

  • The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 European Union member states, has been active across Africa for over 40 years. EIB activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states and whose Finance Ministers are the EIB’s Governors.
  • The three partner banks have a track record of strong financial performance and have undertaken major steps to follow international governance, transparency and risk management best-practice.
  • EIB loans in Africa concentrate on fostering private sector-led initiatives, including SME and microfinance investments that promote sustainable economic growth and help to reduce poverty. The Bank also supports public sector projects that are critical for private sector development and the creation of a competitive business environment.
  • FirstBank has been active since the first long-term loan to the then Colonial Government in 1947 and has continued to play a leading role in the financing of long-term development of the Nigerian economy (notably Econet Wireless, NITEL Switching facility and Nigeria's largest loan syndication to Dangote Group).