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Nigeria, others to get AFREXIM Bank’s $25bn grant

Nigeria, others to get AFREXIM Bank’s $25bn grant

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Ifeanyi Onuba

The President, African Export-Import Bank, Dr Benedict Oranma, has said there are plans by the bank to support Nigeria and a number of other African countries with $25bn within the next three years.

He disclosed this during an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of the African Export-Import Bank Annual Meetings in Abuja.

He said following the move by the continent to implement the African Continent Free Trade Agreement, the bank would invest more in order to promote trade and investment on the continent and support more businesses to grow.

The African Continent Free Trade Agreement is expected to increase intra-African trade by 52.3 per cent from the current 19 per cent.

Already, 44 out of the 55 African countries had endorsed the agreement which would enable them to form a $3tn continental free-trade zone, encompassing 1.2 billion people.

The CFTA identifies seven priority action clusters for its implementation. They are trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade-related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration.

Nigeria has yet to sign the pact despite approval given by the Federal Executive Council on March 14 for President Muhammadu Buhari to do so.

But Oranma said that the implementation of the AfCFTA would accelerate the integration of Africa markets, foster regional value chains and promote dynamic comparative advantage across Africa for certain kinds of goods.

He said, “This seminar is organised as part of a comprehensive suite of interventions AFREXIM Bank has in place in support of the AfCFTA and intra-African trade, including a strategy to disburse $25bn in support of intra-African trade by the end of 2021.

He also said the bank was putting measures in place to facilitate trade by finalising the African payment settlement system.

This, he noted, would provide a clearing platform for payment system in the region, adding that currently, all the 55 African countries had signed a treaty for the bank to implement this payment system.

“As we do this across the 55 countries in Africa, we will create a notional currency and from a multilateral angle, the use of foreign currency will trend towards zero and if this works right, it will create a platform for single currency in Africa,” he said.

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