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Nigeria’s power sector: U.S. bank offers loan facility to investors

Washington D.C,- The U.S. Export and Import (Ex-Im) Bank says it is ready to provide credit facility to investors wishing to take part in Nigeria’s multi billion-dollar power sector privatisation plan.

Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ade Adefuye, unveiled the bank’s readiness to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Washington D.C. after a meeting between Nigerian officials and top officials of the bank.

According to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria will need an annual investment of at least 10 billion dollars over the next decade to meet its electricity needs.

The privatisation agency’s Director-General, Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa; and the Special Adviser to the President on Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, represented Nigeria at the meeting with U.S.
Ex-Im Bank officials.

Adefuye said: “The Ex-Im Bank made it clear that Nigeria has been seriously under-utilising the resources available to it.

“Whereas the total volume of investment in South Africa was over three billion dollars in 2010, in Nigeria it was less than a million dollars, probably because they did not receive enough application of support from Nigeria.”

Adefuye said that in the past, U.S. investors had been reluctant to do business in Nigeria because of their misgivings about the country’s investment climate, their perception of the political climate and the recent developments in the banking sector.

He said that with Nigeria’s recent economic progress and the reforms in the nation’s public and private sectors, more investors, particularly from the U.S., were keen to invest in Nigeria.

On Thursday, Mr John Schuster, the Vice-President, Project Finance, U.S. Ex-Im Bank, and other officials of the American export credit agency attended an investment forum on Nigeria’s power sector.

The forum, organised by the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Corporate Council in Africa, a Washington-based think tank, was aimed at bringing together Nigerian and U.S. companies as well as lenders to discuss opportunities in the power sector.

The Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the U.S., provides loan guarantees to emerging markets throughout the world.

The bank had an overall financial exposure of about 4.5 billion dollars in the power sector in 2009. (NAN)


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