Nigeria borrowed $5.5bn from Afreximbank in 8 months
... urges public, private sector to take advantage of IATF
Nigeria has borrowed a total of $5.5 billion from Afreximbank at the end of August 2021, representing 26.8 percent of the bank’s total loans and advances, George Elombi, executive president, said on Monday.
He said from January to August 2021,total loan approvals to Nigeria were in excess of $1.89 billion.
Elombi spoke in Lagos at the high level Roadshow on the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), giving reasons why Nigeria should participate in the trade fair.
According to him, over the years, the bank has supported and facilitated trade and investments in Nigeria through its array of financial and non-financial instruments.
Consequently, since its inception in 1993, the bank has approved over $26 billion in support of Nigerian public and private sector entities. This, he said has led to a huge developmental impact on the country’s economy and international trade sector.
“The Bank is currently implementing several of its flagship continental initiatives in Nigeria. Some of these initiatives include development of the African Medical Center of Excellence (AMCE) in Abuja, the African Quality Assistance Center being developed in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and the Afreximbank Africa trade center in Abuja,” Elombi said.
The IATF, an Afreximbank event is scheduled to hold next month November 15 to 21 in Durban, South Africa.
The fair provides a platform for buyers and sellers, Investors and governments, to connect, exchange trade, investment and market information and conclude business deals. The trade fair brings together continental and global players to exhibit their goods and services and to explore business and investment opportunities in Africa.
Speaking at event, Adeniyi Adebayo, minister, federal ministry of industry, trade and investment, said IATF offers Nigerian businesses the platform to key into regional value chains to extend their operations into the higher value segments of their industries and to satisfy rules of origin requirements to enjoy the duty waiver and mutual recognition arrangements that will accrue from African Continental Free Trade Agreements (AfCFTA).
Represented by Olusegun Awolowo, executive director/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council and president ECOWAS TPO network, he enjoined participants at the roadshow to take advantage of the enormous opportunity that IATF presents.
“Our Nigerian manufacturers, traders and suppliers should go to the trade fair and explore new sources of supplies within Africa to redirect their supply chains,’ the minister said.
He encouraged State governments to attend to explore opportunities with the other subnationals in terms of exchange of ideas, trade, investment and market information. “Most importantly the best of our entrepreneurs in the creative economy including film, music, fashion and art/crafts should be present to showcase the best of what Nigeria has to offer.
“We all know that our young and booming entrepreneurs are making Nigeria proud, we look forward to showcasing the best of our startups at the youth startup program “, he said.
Elombi noted that four weeks ago, the Durban exhibition centre was visited to ensure that all arrangements were in place for a successful event.
IATF 2021 is expected to attract more than 1,000 exhibitors, more than 10,000 visitors, buyers and conference participants from all 55 African countries, and the world. It would generate more than US$40 billion in trade and investment deals. An opportunity Nigeria cannot miss. To date, there are about 600 signed up exhibitors out of a target of about 1,100 exhibitors.This constitutes 55% overall uptake of IATF 2021 exhibition space.
The number of signed up Nigerian exhibitors is still low and we call upon the business community and the public sector to expedite taking up exhibition space to ensure that Nigeria is fully represented at IATF 2021.