…Seeks partnership with Nigerian banks
By Emeka Anaeto, Group Business Editor & Elizabeth Adegbesan
The African Export-Import (Afrexim) bank has introduced a trade facilitation programme aimed at closing the gap inherent in Africa’s trade financing.
The bank also called on Nigerian banks to leverage its credit lines as option for managing capital adequacy and liquidity issues.
Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, Afreximbank, Mr Amr Kamel, disclosed this during a roadshow organized by the bank in Lagos yesterday.
Kamel, represented by Ademola Adeyinka, a Consultant to Afreximbank on Financial Institutions/Trade Finance said: “The key reason why we are here is to formally present to you our trade facilitation programmes. We have a number of them which we think can further open up business opportunities for the financial institutions here.
“We are still very enthusiastic to do more in Nigeria. We want the financial institutions to see us as solution provider particularly when there are capital constraints or certain other issues that you may need to address”.
Kamel also disclosed that Afreximbank has provided as much as $17 billion in loan facilities to the Nigerian market, adding, “Currently we have over $4 billion that are still running also within this market. So we see the Nigerian market as a very strategic one for us”.
According to him Africa’s low share in global trade and inadequate funding of trade finance demands by international lenders were the reasons for the creation of the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF).
He stated: “The first reason is because Africa currently is the home to five of the fastest growing economies in the world. Also within this African continent we have 14 economies that are growing at a GDP rate of over five percent.
“Over the last decade African trade has increased three folds. Currently, it is estimated to be in the region of $1.5 trillion. It is an extraordinary figure which is expected to continue on a 10 percent year-on-year growth rate.
“So if we look at this statistics, there is a lot that is happening through Africa but there is so little that we are doing either as African financial institutions or African corporate, and this is making our own share of the global trade to be very insignificant.
“Currently, African share of the global trade is less than five percent. It is somewhere between three and five percent and we think we should do more. The figure is low primarily because African economy is still commodity based.
“So Afreximbank came up with this. We put almost $2 billion in this trade facilitation programme to support the African economies”.