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AFREXIM Bank mulls processing centres to end rejection of agro products

As part of its resolve to end the embarrassing rejection of Nigerian food crops exports and associated damages during processing, African Export Import Bank (AFREXIM), has concluded plans with the Nigerian Government to develop two industrial parks in the country in 2018.

The two processing centres will among other things, drive handling of commodities for export in line with government’s economic diversification and job creation efforts.

President of AFREXIM Bank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, at a media conference in Abuja revealed that when completed, the parks will not only boost government’s foreign exchange earnings, through the standardisation of export commodities, but also stem the rejection of Nigerian commodities at international destination markets.

He hinted that discussions between the Bank and the Nigerian authorities have been sealed, and a feasibility study on the intervention, concluded.

Afrexim Bank added that the Bank’s intervention activities in Nigeria began since 1994, disclosing that the bank had within the period sunk in about $16 billion out of which only about $3 billion in outstanding.

Some of the investment platforms of the bank cut across the public and private sectors, covering power sector reform Programme, local content policy, investments in oil assets, banks recapitalisation project, Dangote Manufacturing Group, airlines, hotels and á host of others.

Oramah added further that the project was being supported by the Chinese Government with the sum of $1 billion through the China EXIM Bank, as part of a $60 billion aid promised by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, to help African nations industrialise and elevate their economies.

The bank also hinted that “In our new strategic plan, we are to disburse about $25 billion in intra Africa trade. We are making big investment to promote and formalise intra-Africa trade now worth over $40 billion. We are now about to develop inter-Africa trade platform to serve as a settlement platform. The software is being developed; it will allow countries to pay with their own currencies. It’s going to be launched before the end of this year.

“We are also promoting the emergence of Export Trade Companies, and also making arrangements for their financing to fast track Intra Africa trade because it has been proven that Continents that trade among themselves grow faster than those that don’t.”