GroFin, a financier with operations in seven African countries, plans to channel as much as $400 million in funding to small and medium businesses in Nigeria over the next three to four years, said Guido Boysen, chief executive officer for Africa.
“We have $250 million under management at present and target between $500 million and $1 billion in the next three to four years, with Nigeria getting about 40 percent of the investments,” he said in an interview yesterday in Lagos.
Grofin, based in Pretoria, South Africa, is investing funds contributed by partners including African Development Bank, International Finance Corp., Commonwealth Development Corp. and Shell Foundation. It targets the “growth economies of Africa,” identified as Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Mauritius, according to Boysen.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer with more than 160 million people, is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest economy after South Africa. Grofin invested about 500 million naira ($3 million) in Nigeria this year and plans further lending and equity investments in agriculture, small-scale manufacturing, hotels, schools, maritime and hydrocarbons in the coming years.
“Nigeria is our major market,” Boysen said. “All our investments in Nigeria are targeted at companies with local ownership and requiring $50,000 to $1.5 million intervention and can help grow the economy.”
Loans are provided at commercial rates for up to eight years, he said. Grofin provides advice and business support to companies “for the duration.”