From Uche Usim, Abuja
Efforts to boost export deepened on Wednesday as the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Joint Project Preparation Fund that will provide early financing and technical support services to public and private sector entities operating in Nigeria’s trade sector.
Under the terms of the MoU signed recently, Afreximbank and NEXIM will collaborate through the Joint Project Preparation Fund to unlock investments into sectors such as export manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals development and beneficiation services, as well as healthcare, Information and Communications Technology, and creative industries.
The Joint Project Preparation Fund will support public and private sector investors by providing technical and financial support services that will result in a steady pipeline of well-structured, bankable projects that Afreximbank, NEXIM and other financial institutions can readily finance. The Fund will assist the early development process of projects from concept stage to bankability by covering the preparation of feasibility studies, project development and advisory services and related costs.
Afreximbank and NEXIM aim to mobilise up to US$50 million in the form of project preparation funds for investments in Nigeria.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “The execution of this Memorandum of Understanding marks yet another significant milestone in our collaboration with NEXIM. I am particularly pleased that Afreximbank and NEXIM are boldly venturing upstream to help investors develop well-structured projects that meet market standards. This intervention is timely as the Fund will play a catalytic role in accelerating the diversification of the Nigerian economy by ensuring a steady flow of bankable projects in priority tradable sectors in a timely manner.