The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has called for synergy between it and the Infrastructure Bank (IB) Plc. to support the Federal Government’s transformation agenda through project financing. Mr. Roberts Orya, NEXIM Bank’s Managing Director, made the call in Abuja when he led a delegation from the bank on a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of IB Plc., Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye.
He said, “We are excited to be here, the meeting is essentially to deepen inter-agency cooperation and also explore areas of transactional risk sharing in co- financing projects that have export content so that we can explore areas of mutual cooperation and build synergies and capacities to support government’s transformation agenda.
In NEXIM Bank, we are set up to diversify the economy from the mono-production of oil. We need to work with institutions like you, to be able to actualise our own mandate.,” Orya stated that there was the need for the two banks to work together on a sea-link project.
According to him, the project is intended to ease Nigerian exporters’ movement of goods to other African countries and to improve trade in the ECOWAS region particularly. He explained that NEXIM Bank had been working hard to see how best to enhance the volume of trade in the region.
“We have the sea-link project; a sea-link project is basically a maritime transport infrastructure; we are looking at how we can enhance the volumes of trade that falls within the ECOWAS sub-region and even the Central African region.
“We have seen that our exporters have a lot of problems moving goods out of Nigeria to the neighbouring countries because we don’t have the maritime transportation that will make it easy for them.” Orya said the bank had since 2009, surveyed the market and observed the major constraints it had. He identified one of the constraints as the absence of new technology for the production of goods that would make them compete favourably in the market.
Orya pointed out that the sea-link project would cost between 60 million dollars and 100 million dollars, explaining that 40 per cent of the fund would be borrowed, while the remaining 60 per cent would be raised through equity holding. He said the bank would be interested in collaborating with the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) under its mandate and explore transactional co-financing and risk sharing relationship with others in projects execution.
He also called for support for a power sub-station and transmission line for the bank’s projects with electricity challenges. Orya said: “For instance, hotel development as tourism infrastructure in support of the national tourism master plan.
“Entertainment/shopping complexes with multiplexes/cinemas to support modern cinemas development in line with government’s current policy initiatives to sustain development of the creative and entertainment industries.” Responding, Oyinloye commended NEXIM Bank for the initiative and spoke of the Infrastructure Bank’s readiness to partner with it toward the development of infrastructure in the country.
“There is a whole lot of opportunity within the infrastructure space in Nigeria; if you look at the transport infrastructure sector, of which the maritime sector is one, there is a huge potential there. The road network is inadequate; the one that is in inexistence is in deplorable condition; the airports are inadequate; the ones in existence are in deplorable condition.
The water system is something else; a country like Nigeria should be a regional hub.” Oyinloye said that the core focus of the Infrastructure Bank was to attract private capital and initiatives for the successful implementation of projects, adding that the use of SPVs would make people accountable.