The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has signed a partnership agreement to implement various transactions valued at about $500 million.
The signing ceremony took place on the sideline of the just concluded Intra-African Trade Fair with Mrs. Kanayo Awani the Managing Director, Intra-African Trade initiatives signing on behalf of Afrexim bank while the managing director /chief executive, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello signed on behalf of the bank.
Information gleaned from the document indicated that the agreement covers four major areas, with the overall objective of promoting international trade and boosting trade between Nigeria and other African countries.
The key areas include: The Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA), under which Afreximbank has provided $25 million in the first instance to alleviate the economic and business impact of the Covid19 pandemic on Nigeria businesses. NEXIM will utilise the facility for continuous funding of exporters, particularly SMEs, many of whom were adversely impacted by the disruptions of the global value chain and other fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic; 400 million Credit Facility to support the rehabilitation and modernisation of Nigerian ports as well as development of new inland ports as part of efforts to improve trade and infrastructure; $50 million Loan for acquisition of badges for fleet expansion in furtherance of the regional shipping operation (the Sealink project) being promoted by NEXIM as well as the $350,000 grant provided to support the charting of the main channels of the River Nigeria and Benue to facilitate navigation and successful shipping operations.
President of AFREXIM, Professor Benedict Oramah, had earlier observed that PATIMFA was launched by Afrexim bank to assist member countries in managing the financial, economic and health shocks caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. He added that the Bank aims to help in preserving and promoting economic stability of member countries through the period of the global uncertainty and that the fund would ensure that trade debt payments that fall due are honoured and support the stabilization of foreign exchange resources in order to preserve the flow of critical imports.
Managing director of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello also welcomed the intervention and thanked Afreximbank for the continued partnership. He noted that the $25 million provided under PATIMFA will be used to refinance a portion of Nexim Bank existing loan portfolio to provide short term liquidity for further lending activities by the bank to companies operating in the Non-Oil exports sector of the country.
Bello noted that the Bank’s effort to promote the regional shipping company (theSealinkProject) was in response to the need to boost trade within the regional market and that the scope of the project was later expanded to include the development of inland waterways to facilitate the export of bulk cargo and unlock opportunities in solid minerals sector