Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $15 million subordinated loan (about N69.204bn at the CBN’s I&E window) to Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Limited (InfraCredit) to strengthen its capital base and help close Nigeria’s infrastructure financing gap.
InfraCredit is a specialized Nigerian credit guarantee company that mobilizes long-term capital from institutional investors, including pension fund and insurance companies, to support infrastructure projects.
The financing, according to a statement by the AfDB on Thursday, will enable InfraCredit leverage domestic capital markets to bolster access to long-term local currency infrastructure financing in Nigeria, while complementing a 2019 investment into InfraCredit made by the bank and other partners to help unlock domestic institutional capital for infrastructure.
The loan comes at a time when InfraCredit is seeking to raise capital to finance an additional $375 million in infrastructure over the next few years, primarily by leveraging private sector financing.
Commenting on the facility, Lamin Barrow, Director-General of AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department, expressed the bank’s pleasure at the continued support for InfraCredit, describing it as an innovative financial institution with “objectives that align closely with our priorities to mobilize institutional financing for the delivery of infrastructure for Nigeria in key sectors including transport, energy, water, agriculture and infrastructure.”
The company’s green finance track record and commitments under its Clean Energy Transition Strategy and Roadmap and Green Finance Framework fits with the African Development Bank’s commitments to promote low-carbon development and mitigation, leveraging climate finance from private sector sources, Barrow said.
Also commenting, Chinua Azubike, InfraCredit CEO said the company is “delighted and very pleased with the confidence that AfDB has demonstrated in the opportunity ahead for InfraCredit to scale its development impact of unlocking domestic institutional investments for long-term local currency infrastructure finance in Nigeria that will create jobs and support local economic growth.
“This second round investment will strengthen our guarantee issuing capacity and bring AfDB’s total investments in InfraCredit to $25 million, which is a strong signal of commitment to the long-term growth of InfraCredit and the Nigerian economy,” he added.
Ahmed Attout, AfDB’s Acting Director for Financial Sector Development, said “the support demonstrates our continuing confidence in InfraCredit and recognition of the role it plays in Nigeria’s infrastructure development. The African Development Bank is committed to capacitating the various players within Africa’s capital markets and stimulating the mobilization of long-term funding into Africa’s infrastructure.”
The partnership, the statement added, advances a number of strategic objectives under the Bank’s current Country Strategy Paper for Nigeria, which includes helping to stimulate local currency bond market financing across diverse infrastructure sectors, as well as enhancing economic diversification and competitiveness in the country. The strategy also prioritizes delivery of infrastructure for transport, energy, water and sanitation, agriculture, industry and social development.
The intervention, it noted further, is also aligned with Nigeria’s National Development Plan which envisages strong private sector resource mobilization and participation in the delivery of the priorities of the plan including for investment in infrastructure, promotion of financial sector and capital market development in the country.
By de-risking local currency debt instruments (primarily bonds), AfDB believes, InfraCredit channels financing to infrastructure projects, including green and climate-aligned projects in Nigeria.