By Chinwendu Obienyi, Lagos
Total loan approvals for Nigeria from the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) have now reached 1.89 billion naira in 8 months, revealed the Executive Vice President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services. ‘Afreximbank, Dr George Elombi, at the Intra- The African Trade Fair 2021 Official High Level Roadshow in Nigeria held in Lagos on Monday.
Speaking on the topic “Promoting Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment in the Framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” Dr Elombi said that in the context of COVID-19, the AfCFTA probably played an even bigger role as an executive. for the economic recovery of Africa.
He noted that factors such as market fragmentation, dependence on the export of commodities, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and others have resulted in a low percentage of intra-African trade. , about 15% on average and continually subjecting growth and development to external forces.
He said the IATF 2021 to be held in Durban, South Africa between November 15-21, 2021 is expected to generate over $ 40 billion in trade and investment deals, a beneficial opportunity for the Nigerian economy.
According to him, IATF 2021 would also attract more than 1,000 exhibitors, around 10,000 visitors, buyers and conference attendees from 55 African countries and the world.
Dr Elombi noted that Afreximbank, the organizer of IATF 2021, has supported and facilitated trade and investment in Nigeria through its range of financial and non-financial instruments.
According to him, the bank has approved more than $ 26 billion to support Nigerian public and private sector entities since its inception in 1993 and added that it continues to support the Nigerian economy through various financing programs for Nigerian companies.
“From January to August 2021, the total loan approvals for Nigeria exceeded $ 1.89 billion and at the end of August 2021, the total exposure to Bank loans in Nigeria was $ 5.5 billion, or 26.8% of the total loans and advances of the Bank.
“For these reasons, we also believe that the IATF, an Afreximbank event, deserves Nigeria’s full support,” Elombi said.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigerian Council for the Promotion of Exports and President of the ECOWAS OPC Network, Segun Awolowo, noted that the ‘IATF was clearly in line with the country’s market access goal of taking deliberate steps to bring Nigerian products and services to Africa.
For her part, the Managing Director of Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank, Kanayo Awani, revealed that the bank’s available financing facility stands at $ 20 billion, but lamented that the fund is currently under- used.
She reiterated the bank’s commitment to expanding value chains, providing policy advocacy and exposure to international markets for African business communities.