• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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It’s happy new year for Nigeria as Afrexim’s $2.25bn support comes in today

FG, Afrexim sign $1bn partnership to unlock Nigeria’s healthcare system

Nigeria is expected to lay its hands on the long-awaited foreign exchange support facility from Afreximbank today as the government of Africa’s most populous nation looks to ease the acute FX shortage that has hobbled the economy and push for growth.

BusinessDay learnt that Afrexim Bank signed the dotted lines yesterday and the funds should come Friday.

Business leaders in Lagos have called the development a major catalyst for the economy as the arrival of the funds could help curtail the exchange rate volatility and ease inflation.

Wale Edun, finance minister and co-ordinating minister of the economy, would not offer any specific comments when BusinessDay spoke with him Friday, insisting that it was in the position of Afrexim to announce the disbursement at the appropriate time.

According to the minister, “this is a transaction in process with Afrexim and it is for them to make the announcement relating to funds disbursement.”

He spoke, however, about the work being done to put in place a comprehensive range of solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges including improving finances through leveraging technology to raise tax collection as well as ease the foreign exchange position.

Loans targeted at solving Nigeria's FX crisis since Tinubu's Administration
Loans targeted at solving Nigeria’s FX crisis since Tinubu’s Administration

“We are looking at a range of support mechanisms capable of bringing about all round improvement in government finances and FX liquidity and we are optimistic we are on the right path.”

The disbursement of the funds could be the tonic Nigeria needs to rebuild investor confidence, improve credit lines for an economy brought to its knees by eight years of mismanagement by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

While Afrexim is the lead arranger, there are sub-lenders including Sahara energy group, UBA as well as Guvnor, one of the world’s largest energy trading houses by turnover.