Afreximbank portfolio in Nigeria hits $5.5bn

By Everest Amaefule

Monday, 25 Oct 2010


Lending by the Africa Export Import Bank to Nigerians has hit $5.5bn, the President of the bank, Mr. Jean-Loius Ekra, has said.

Ekra, who said this at a reception marking his departure from Nigeria, added that the Abuja office of the bank was being strengthened to serve as the alternative headquarters of the bank which is based in Cairo, Egypt.

He said, “Nigeria is our largest market, accounting for more than 50 per cent of our loan assets. Cumulative approvals for Nigeria entities reached $5.5bn in June 2010.

“We plan to remain heavily engaged in this market, given its large share of African trade. Our Abuja branch is being strengthened to deepen our activities in the West African region and to serve as an alternative headquarters.

“We will continue to deploy innovative products in the market, building on the successes we achieved earlier. As you are aware, we pioneered the financing of indigenous oil service companies in Nigeria using pragmatic approach.”

He added, “We were at the forefront of supporting many indigenous telecoms and airline companies in Nigeria; we have facilitated the creation of hotel rooms capacity in the country and provided the initial funding for such essential services, as those offered by Lagbus, among others.

“Almost all Nigerian banks enjoy lines of credit from Afreximbank and we are finalising an export development programme for Nigeria as a way of supporting government’s efforts towards economic diversification.”

Ekra relocated and operated from Nigeria from January 2005 when he was expelled from Cairo by the Egyptian authorities following an objection by Egyptian shareholders of the bank to the process of his appointment.

He disclosed that the issues had now been resolved, paving the way for his return to Egypt to serve a second term in office.

Source: Punch


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