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Afreximbank’s trade, project intervention in Nigeria hit $35b

By Chijioke Nelson
18 May 2017   |   4:23 am
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has disbursed more than $35 billion in trade and project financing to Nigerian

President, AfreximBank, Dr. Benedict Oramah

Banks’ letters of credit reach $1b
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has disbursed more than $35 billion in trade and project financing to Nigerian

The disbursements, targeted at public and private sectors’ entities since its inception to support the country’s economic and trade growth, are in furtherance of efforts to rev up the region’s and bilateral integration.

The bank’s President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, who made the disclosure yesterday, in Abuja, after visiting the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said Afreximbank’s current credit exposure to Nigeria stood at $3.5 billion.

He told the Acting President that the Bank’s disbursals to Nigeria included financing provided to the country’s banking sector to improve trade finance and foreign exchange liquidity, which helped the economy adjust to the recent adverse commodity price shock.

Last year, Nigeria’s high networks investors were admitted by the lender into its shareholding structure, while few months after the yearly general meeting, it reached deals with some financial institutions to provide trade loans”

It also included facilities arranged for entities in the export processing, manufacturing, aviation and hospitality sectors as well as loans granted to help local companies to acquire and operate oil mining leases that had been divested by major international oil companies, he added.

“In line with the bank’s IMPACT 2021 Strategy, we are assisting our member countries in transforming their economies by financing their industrialisation and export manufacturing with a strong focus on intra-regional trade promotion,” Oramah, who said that the Bank had launched a number of initiatives aimed at increasing industrial capacity and improving export competitiveness, said.

Some of those initiatives, which will be hosted in Nigeria, were the establishment of an internationally accredited inspection and certification centre to improve compliance of African exports with international technical and sanitary requirements; and the creation of industrial and export processing zones dedicated to light manufacturing and agro-processing.

Others are the construction of Africa’s first center of excellence in medical services through Afreximbank’s strategic alliance with King’s College Hospital, London, which aims to attract medical tourism and reduce the outflow of Africans seeking world-class treatment abroad.

He pointed out that as part of its commitment to improve access to international finance and trade services, the bank renewed and provided new credit lines and letter of credit confirmations to Nigerian banks, with the current exposure exceeding $1 billion.

According to him, the bank is creating capacity in Nigeria for small and medium enterprises to access working capital finance through its factoring programme.

This, he said, has resulted in the training sessions and seminars it conducted, while factoring companies have been emerging and progress has been made in developing a legal framework for the growth of that activity in Nigeria.

Osinbajo thanked Afreximbank for its continued support to Nigeria and commended the Bank for constantly seeking innovative solutions to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa and for reinforcing the continent’s capacity to respond to external economic shocks.

He reaffirmed Nigeria’s support for the Bank’s mandate and stressed the importance of strengthening the private sector’s role and contribution to the continent’s trade development agenda.

Present at the meeting were Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Trade and Investment, and several members of the Nigerian cabinet.

The Afreximbank delegation held further meetings with Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister in charge of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory; Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance, and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Accompanying the President from Afreximbank were Rene Awambeng, Director, Client Relations; Abdoulaye Kone, Regional Manager, Anglophone West Africa; Richman Dzene, Special Assistant to the President; Peter Olowononi of the Client Relations Department; and Fleur Tchibota of the Communications Department.