AFREXIM to Disburse N7.647tn to Intra-African Businesses

  •  Signs N306bn loan deal with Dangote Cement

Ebere Nwoji

The African Export Import (AFREXIM) Bank has said it will in the next five years disburse a total of N7.647 trillion ( $25 billion )to support Intra -African trade within the African centment.

This is just as the bank also said in line with this initiative, it would today (Thursday) sign a N305.900 billion ($1 billion) loan with Dangote Cement in Nigeria as part of effort to support businesses in Africa.

AFREXIM President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, who stated this at the 24th annual general meeting of the bank held in Kigali, Rwanda, recently, said out of the above amount it plans to disburse in the region, N3.059 trillion ($10 billion) would be sourced from within Africa, while the rest would come from shareholders and other external sources.

According to him, already the bank had mobilised N1.376 trillion ($4.5 billion) and was confident that it would make up the balance.
He said management of the bank was optimistic that the initiative was achievable considering the enormous opportunities and funds sitting idle in the continent’s reserves in the past years before the commodity price shock.

He said AFREXIM had set for itself target of strengthening businesses in various sectors of the economy within the region, in order to bring a major change in the prevailing situation whereby once there is slide in commodity prices, it will affect economic activities of most countries in the continent.

He said the regional bank, which is currently focusing its core strategy on promoting intra African trade, industrialisation and export of manufactured goods as well as maintaining trade financing leadership in Africa, was already making its business supportive and promotion impact in many countries within the continent.

According to him, in Nigeria’s services sector, its total exposure to banks in the country, including the Bank of Industry, stands at N428 billion ($1.4 billion) while its outstanding from Nigerian banks was put at N1.040 trillion ($3.4 billion).
“We have exposure to Nigerian banks in total of $1.4 billion, our outstanding in Nigeria is about $3.4 billion, that is the loan that Nigerian banks are owing us.”
Speaking on the performance of the loans to Nigerian banks, the AFREXIM Bank boss said they are all doing well as the banks are responding positively, adding that the banks are planning to make Nigeria benefit more from the initiative.

“We are signing a loan contract of $1 billion (Thursday) with Dangote group for its cement factory,” he stated.
He also said the bank had concluded plans to build world class medical centre in Abuja, Nigeria, to reduce rate of medical trips abroad by Nigerians and other African countries.

According to him, the regional bank has also concluded plans to set up three state of the art industrial parks in Nigeria to enhance local manufacturing and export of manufactured goods from the region.

Oramah, said in all these, AFREXIM was happy that African governments and its shareholders are fully in support of the activities of the bank in this direction.

He said apart from Nigeria, the bank had invested about $ 4.2 billion (N1.285 trillion) in Egypt, especially in helping banks in the country to overcome their recent crisis as well as in promoting the Egypt- African trade promotion programme.
He said the bank had also supported airlines, adding that it loaned $2 billion to Kenya Airways to purchase 20 aircrafts and had been a prominent financer of Arik Airline.

Oramah also said the AFREXIM Bank has set for itself the target of dismantling through government support anything that causes traffic in trading activates across the region.

He said the bank’s activities in promoting businesses within the region would extend to Africans in diaspora, noting that this became necessary because a critical look at their business activities has shown that their GDP has grown as high as $700 million..
He said the bank through its intra-African trade development strategy wants to bring them into African economy.

AFREXIM was established in Abuja, Nigeria in October, 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, as well as non-African financial institutions and private investors for the purpose of financing, promoting and expanding intra-African and extra-African trade.

The bank was established under the twin constitutive instruments of an agreement signed by member states and multilateral organisations, and which confers on it the status of an international multilateral organisation; as well as a charter governing its corporate structure and operations, signed by all shareholders.

The bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, and commenced operations on September 30, 1994,