By Emmanuel Elebeke
Abuja—The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said, weekend, it has approved a total of $17 billion financing for Nigerian entities between its commencement of operations in 1994 and last December.
President of the bank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, disclosed this when he led an Afreximbank delegation on a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
He said the bank’s facilities had made major impact on critical sectors of the Nigerian economy and that the bank had loans outstanding of about $3.5 billion in Nigeria as at December 31, 2017.
He identified the sectors benefiting from the bank’s facilities to include financial institutions, transport, hospitality, manufacturing, agro-allied, oil and gas, power, and telecommunications.
Oramah said: “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 and the provision of $1.8 billion to support the economy during the recent oil price shock in 2015-2016.
“The bank’s current initiatives in Nigeria include the development of testing and inspection centres across the country, in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Tertiary Healthcare/Medical Park; and potential participation in the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Ltd being promoted by the government.
‘’They also include 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.
“The bank is willing to work with the government to arrange financing of up to $1 billion to support the government’s investments in trade enabling infrastructure.”
He invited President Buhari and the Federal Government to attend the Afreximbank Annual Meeting scheduled to take place in Abuja from11 to 14 July.
Responding, President Buhari thanked Oramah for the visit and commended Afreximbank for its support to the Nigerian economy as well as its work in promoting African trade.
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