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In new AfCFTA support, Afrexim Bank offers $500m to Nigerian manufacturers

The African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank has made provision to boost productivity in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector by offering accessible loan worth $500 million to the members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

This was made known at the 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of MAN by the president of the African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank, Benedict Oramah, who said that limited access to funding has constrained the potential of the manufacturing sector in fostering economic growth and development.

He said “the loan facility is being a made available to Nigerian manufacturers in order to support them in dealing with financial challenges and also provide trading facilities for them.”

“Enriching the economy will provide an avenue for a rapid inflow of foreign direct investment in the country and Africa as a whole,” he said.

The loan is part of the $1 billion African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA) Adjustment Facility to enable countries adjust to the sudden significant tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the agreement.

Aside from the loan, Oramah mentioned that series of programmes have been made available for Nigerian manufacturers to improve productivity in the sector and expand trade relationships as well as to provide competitive advantage in the global market.

Muhammadu Buhari, president of Nigeria, while speaking at the event, stated that the present administration is committed to providing an enabling environment for the manufacturing sector to thrive adding that it is one of the fastest channels to economic growth and development.

The president, who was represented by the minister for industry, trade and investment Adeniyi Adebayo, said the government has developed and implemented policies to diversify the economy and create jobs in the country.

Adebayo said in supporting the manufacturing sector, policies were also implemented to support and improve the patronage of locally made products. He called on the key stakeholders in the private sector to collaborate with the government in order to achieve a prosperous economy.

Mansur Ahmed, MAN president, in his remarks, commended the present administration for the various policies that revived the economy that was heavily dependent on import for its consumption and revenue.

Relating to the theme of the AGM which is themed “improving the value chain in the manufacturing sector for competitiveness and job creation”, he stated that for the country and Africa in general to achieve beneficial free trade, there must be sustainable value chain especially in the manufacturing sector which cuts across other countries.

He said that plans are being made to spearhead the African Manufacturers Association which will provide a platform to magnify value chain in the sector to other countries and will provide room for expansion in inter-country trade activities.

Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, represented by Bayo Osinowo, in his remarks, stated that according to general belief, the government has no business in business but the government is mandated to provide an enabling environment for business to thrive and provide an avenue to grow the economy.

He stated that Nigeria must take a cue from developed countries and consume locally produced goods. He added that patronage of locally produced items will boost the sector as well as the economy and this will also provide job opportunities for the employable population of the country.

 

Gbemi Faminu

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