By Chinwendu Obienyi
Total loan approvals to Nigeria from Afreximbank has now risen to N5.5billion representing 26.8 per cent of its African portfolio. This was even as it gave approval to $1.89billion in the last eight 8 months.
The Executive Vice President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services at Afreximbank, Dr George Elombi, disclosed this during the intra-African Trade Fair 2021 official Nigeria high level roadshow which held in Lagos on Monday.
While speaking on the theme; Promoting Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Dr Elombi stated that in the context of COVID-19, the AfCFTA has probably taken on an even more important role as the framework for African economic recovery.
He noted that factors such as market fragmentation, reliance on the export of primary commodities, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and others have resulted to a low percentage of intra-African trade, averaging around 15 per cent and continuously subjecting Africa’s growth and development to external forces.
According to him, as at 2020, Nigeria’s imports from the African region relative to total imports was at 7 per cent while the share of its exports to the African region relative to total exports was at 20 per cent.
“Accounting for about 52 per cent of the total population of West Africa, Nigeria stands to benefit the most from an intra African trade fair, an event intended to enhance the trade of African states among themselves, and to meet the objectives of Agenda 2063 as declared by African Heads of State”, he said. He noted that Afreximbank being the organiser of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, has supported and facilitated trade and investments in Nigeria through its array of financial and non-financial instruments.
According to him, the bank has approved over $26 billion in support of Nigerian public, adding that private sector entities since it’s inception in 1993 and added that it continues to support the Nigerian economy through various funding programmes for Nigerian businesses. “From January to August 2021, total loan approvals for Nigeria were in excess of $1.89 billion and at the end of August 2021, the bank’s total loans exposure to Nigeria was $5.5 billion, representing 26.8 per cent share of the bank’s total loans and advances.”