Access Bank Signs $75m Loan Agreement With Japanese Agency


Access Bank PLC has signed a historic loan agreement of $75 million with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to address climate change challenges, setting a precedent for sustainable development in the region.

The agreement is JICA’s first private sector investment finance in the banking sector in the Sub-Saharan African region.

According to a statement from the bank, Citi acted as the sole coordinator and agent. The ceremony which held on Monday, February 5, 2024 – underscores a commitment of Access Bank, JICA and Citi to support climate change measures in Nigeria.

The use of proceeds of the loan are expected to be used to finance a wide range of sub-projects such as renewable-energy projects, energy-saving projects and agriculture-related projects that contribute to climate change measures.

Commenting onm the partnership, Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank PLC, said “At Access Bank, we recognise the urgent need for sustainable solutions to combat climate change. This landmark agreement with JICA reaffirms our commitment to leveraging financial resources for impactful initiatives that promote environmental resilience and contribute to Nigeria’s climate action agenda.

“By investing in renewable-energy, energy-saving, and agriculture-related projects, we aim to create a positive ripple effect, not only mitigating the effects of climate change but also fostering economic growth and improving livelihoods within our communities. Indeed, this partnership represents a shared commitment to a greener, more sustainable future for Nigeria and beyond.”

Jin Wakabayashi, Deputy Director General, Private Sector Partnership and Finance Department at JICA commented on the importance of implementing this project: “As this project is positioned as the first bank loan facility by JICA’s private sector investment finance in the country, this significantly marks a new milestone in the long history of JICA’s cooperation with Nigeria and has a very special meaning indeed.

“We are delighted to have an opportunity of working with such a reputable and quality partner, Access Bank, which has a sophisticated business platform and established track record of climate finance. Under the partnership with Access Bank, JICA’s Facility is expected to be used for projects which contribute to climate change measures in Nigeria, and we expect that this collaboration will be further deepened for the years to come.”

Emphasizing on the important of this international partnership, Richard Hodder, Global Head of Export Agency Finance (EAF) at Citi said “At Citi, we are committed to bringing solutions to our clients which facilitate investment linked to the energy transition, to energy security and to the key drivers of economic growth. Citi is proud to partner as the sole coordinator and agent in facilitating JICA’s first transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa under the Private Sector Investment and Finance scheme. Following on from the Citi-arranged DFC (US International Development Finance Corporation) facility to Access Bank in 2022, this partnership is a meaningful roadmap towards TICAD 9 (Tokyo International Conference on AfricaDevelopment) to be held in Tokyo in 2025.”

Furthermore, the implementation of the deal aligns with Nigeria’s efforts to mobilise private sector funds for climate action, in line with Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero hunger), 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 13 (Climate action), and 17 (Partnerships for the goals). Moreover, it resonates with Japanese Prime Minister
Kishida Fumio’s vision for a more climate-resilient and sustainable society, as announced at the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, a side event of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May 2023.

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