Cairo/Abuja, 31 May 2021: – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) have announced a US$750,000 grant to support the charting of the main channel of the Niger-Benue river in Nigeria, as part of the Regional Sealink Project, which aims to bridge the gap in maritime transport infrastructure and improve trade connectivity in West Africa.
Afreximbank provided a grant of US$350,000 to supplement the US$400,000 made available by NEXIM, thus completing the financing of the barthymetric survey and hydrograhic and hydrological studies of the lower Niger-Benue river. The studies will be undertaken under a joint collaboration framework between the Nigerian Navy Hydrography Department, Nigeria’s National Inland waterways Authority (NIWA) and Sealink Consortium Partners.
The completion of the studies will support the early commencement of the inland waterways operations planned under the Regional Sealink Project, by enabling the development of the inland waterways navigation chart as well as river ports and anchorage plans that will facilitate both bulk commodities and general cargo shipping, thereby boosting Nigeria’s bulk commodities trade and exports.
Inland waterways are a key transport mode that plays a vital role in facilitating the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods and providing a competitive alternative to rail and road transport, while ensuring integration into the country’s international logistics chain.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “The project, which will facilitate regional transit, is timely given the recent commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The grant from Afreximbank and NEXIM will allow for the development of infrastructure that will eventually relieve road congestion and enable some bulky commodities and solid minerals to move by the river. The project will not only enhance Nigeria’s attractiveness as an investment destination, but also foster regional integration and trade in the ECOWAS region. In addition, it will facilitate the reduction of the level of informal trade, thereby promoting industrialisation and financial inclusion for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).”
Mr. Abubakar Abba Bello, Managing Director of NEXIM, said: “The execution of the Grant Agreement strongly aligns with the strategic objectives of Afreximbank and NEXIM in trade promotion and support for the development of trade facilitating and enabling infrastructure that will deepen the partnership engagements of both institutions to foster trade connectivity, especially under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The partnership will also facilitate the implementation of the Regional Sealink project, thereby promoting hinterland, coastal and transit trade as well as the broadening of Nigeria’s export basket with bulk commodities like solid minerals and agricultural products.”
The Regional Sealink Project is a trade facilitation initiative designed to address the critical logistics infrastructure gap towards facilitating and deepening inland and intra-coastal waterways operations. It was adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission as one of its seven priority projects under the ECOWAS Community Development Programmes. Its implementation is expected to mitigate some of the main barriers to regional integration and the growth of cross-border trade, especially trade in large volumes of bulk commodities.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. The Bank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, Afreximbank has disbursed more than US$6.5 billion in 2020 to help member countries manage the adverse impact of financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has completed the development of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) was established by Act 38 of 1991 as an Export Credit Agency (ECA) and Export Development Bank, with a share capital of N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira) held equally by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria. The object of the Bank can be summarized as provision of export finance, export credit guarantee and insurance as well as export trade information and advisory services aimed at expanding and diversifying the export base towards increased foreign exchange earnings of the country. It has been a deliberate policy of the Bank to focus its activities at promoting non-oil exports in order to achieve a positive balance of trade and address the challenges associated with the dominance of oil exports. The Bank is currently implementing initiatives to unlock opportunities and attract investments towards Nigeria’s effective participation and competitiveness under the AFCFTA framework. The Bank has its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
For more information, visit: www.neximbank.com.ng
Afreximbank: Amadou Labba Sall; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEXIM: Lohya Mamven; email@example.com