- Afreximbank Plans $1b for Trade, Infrastructure
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has expressed its readiness to work with the Federal Government arrange about $1 billion financing for government’s investments in trade-enabling infrastructure.
The bank has so far approved financing amounting to $17 billion for Nigerian entities between its commencement of operations in 1994 and last December, its President Benedict Oramah, said.
Speaking during the bank’s visit to Nigeria, he said the lender’s facilities had made major impact on critical sectors of the economy. He added that the bank had loans outstanding of about $3.5 billion in Nigeria as at December last year.
Oramah identified the sectors benefiting from the bank’s facilities as financial institutions, transport, hospitality, manufacturing, agro-allied, oil and gas, power, and telecommunications.
He said that Afreximbank’s support to Nigeria had included provision of liquidity and trade finance lines of more than $800 million during the banking consolidation when many international banks cut credit lines to the country. It also included the provision of $1.8 billion to support the economy during the recent oil price shock in 2015 to 2016.
He enumerated that the bank’s current initiatives in Nigeria to include the development of testing and inspection centres across the country in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria; establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Tertiary Healthcare/Medical Park; potential participation in the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Ltd being promoted by the government; support for industrial projects through loans to strategic banks; arrangement and disbursal of $750 million to the Bank of Industry in June; provision of trade and letter of credit lines to all Nigerian banks, in close coordination with Central Bank of Nigeria, in order to ensure access to trade finance; and development of an Afreximbank Africa Trade Centre in Abuja.