Afreximbank, NEXIM $825m deal to be deployed into Niger-Benue River dredging, others’
The African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) has stated that the $350 million grant with Nigerian Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank will be used to dredge the Niger-Benue River to enhance easy movement of goods from the seaports into the land ports.
The two institutions also completed another $475 million project financing deal as part of efforts to boost trade and investment in the country.
A breakdown of the $475 million transactions indicated that $400 million would be channelled into inland ports expansion as well as service existing ports to support intra-African and regional trade.
In the same vein, $25 million from the facility, referred to as the pandemic trade impact facility would be disbursed to NEXIM to help support its clients engaged in the import-export business in Nigeria.
According to Afreximbank, the facility will help Nexim’s clients mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their businesses and ensure that they wriggle out of the adverse effects of the pandemic.
Additionally, the $50 million facilities would be deployed for the expansion of fleets in the industry. This is the first deal to be signed between the two institutions.
Speaking in an event to mark ‘Nigeria’s day celebration” at the ongoing 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), in Durban, South Africa, President, Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said: “Why we earmarked today to celebrate our country is to enable us to receive information on the trade and investment opportunities in the countries that win the bid to host “country days”.
“We also see it as an opportunity to feel the reach and diverse culinary and cultural endowment of the country”.
He noted Nigeria has demonstrated relentless support for Afreximbank and the Intra-African trade fair.
According to him, this is evident at the level of participation demonstrated by Nigerians this year.
Oramah pointed out that Nigeria is participating with a very strong contingent of about 1,500 this year.
He said Afreximbank has continued to support the Nigerian economy through various funding programmes for Nigerian businesses.
“Afreximbank is most grateful for the support we have been receiving from Nigeria. We are grateful for the support we have received this year.
“It is that support that propels all Afreximbank’s interventions in Nigeria. For instance, Afreximbank’s cumulative direct financing support topped $26 billion by the end of 2020.”
According to him from January to August 2021, total loan approvals for Nigeria were in excess of US$1.89 billion and at the end of August 2021, the bank’s total loans exposure to Nigeria stood at US$5.5 billion, representing 26.8 percent share of the Bank’s total loans and advances.
He said $3.5 billion is in the pipeline and at various stages of execution for potential disbursement by the first quarter of next year.
According to him, this will bring total exposure by the end of the first quarter to somewhere between $8 and $9 billion.
Over the years, the bank has supported and facilitated trade and investments in Nigeria through its array of financial and non-financial instruments.
Since its inception in 1993, the Bank has approved over US$26 billion in support of Nigerian public and private sector entities.
This has had a huge developmental impact on the country’s economy and international trade sector.
Also speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria is one of the largest services exporters in the world.
Represented by Uche Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, he said, Nigeria has the prospect of Nigeria being a hub for the auto sector in the region, not only for assembling but also for components in the technological advancement, with which that will come.
“If we want to position the ACfTA and ensure that AfCTA makes our continent collectively competitive, we cannot do it without Nigeria. We certainly will not be able to reach the scale that we want to reach in the level of competitiveness that we want to reach.
“I know that without Nigeria on board, we will not be able to complete the success story of AfCTA. I want to link this export capacity that Nigeria has with what we have seen here today and in the last few days, the exhibition and all of the manufacturing capacity that we have seen,” he said.