The President of African Export-Import Bank (AFRIEXIM Bank), Prof. Benedict Oramah has said that the bank has over $3.2 billion worth of investments in Nigeria.
He made the disclosure while responding to questions from reporters after a meeting with the Nigerian delegation on the sidelines of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
The banker noted that although Nigeria was a dominant shareholder in the bank, the country had fallen back in its shareholding position to the third position after being overtaken by Egypt and Zimbabwe.
He pointed out that that was why the bank had “discussions with the Minister of Finance to see how Nigeria can return to the level it occupied in the past. We have got assurances that the Nigerian government will look at it and we hope that Nigeria’s shareholding will rise to the level that reflects the size of its economy.’’
The Afrexim Bank boss Oramah said further that the bank was supporting Nigeria in terms of lines of credit to commercial banks to enable the country to carry out the importation and exportation of goods while supporting small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). “We are also supporting many private businesses that are into manufacturing and all that.
He clarified: “Beyond that, we are pursuing other impactful initiatives and we are finalizing arrangements to develop a Centre of excellence for healthcare because we want to see how we can begin to promote medical tourism in Nigeria.
“We want to develop a centre that will make it possible for Nigeria to have facilities to take care of complex diseases such as oncology, haematology, cardiovascular and complex diseases”, he added
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said that the meeting with the Oramah was to discuss the possibility of increasing Nigeria’s shares in the bank, adding that the nation’s equity holdings in the bank currently stood at 40 per cent.
She said: “We discussed some of the programs and projects that AFRIEXIM is supporting in Nigeria. We also discussed setting up a medical park in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is a discussion that has been going on for a very long time.
“We are also looking at setting up some quality assurance centres in Ogun state and other parts of the country. We also discussed opening up some industrial parks in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in three centres —one each in Lekki, Kano and Kaduna”, the minister added.
She disclosed that the Federal Government was considering signing up for the AFRIEXIM trade policy, adding that government is consulting closely with the private sector to get its input before finalizing it.