ECOWAS Bank for Investment lifts NEXIM Bank with $20m credit line



The Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment Bank (EBID) has extended a credit line of $20 million (about N2.9 billion) to the Nigerian Export - Import Bank (NEXIM) as part of assistance to deepen export and import trade financing within the Africa region.



The loan facility as EBID President, Mr. Christian Adovlandi explained, would enable NEXIM overcome challenges of opening up boarder constrains in the face of current global economic situation within the continent.



It will also, according to him enable NEXIM respond to the provision of both medium and short-term funds to facilitate export and import trade within the ECOWAS sub-region. Also initiated to boost export and import trade, is the launch of ECOWAS Trade Support Facility (ETSF) designed to provide short term financial accommodation to exporters in support of their trading activities in the West African sub-region.



Items eligible for support under this facility include, unprocessed goods, agriculture produce, raw materials, packaging materials, industrial products (processed or semi processed), as well as, finished goods wholly produced in members state with a minimum of 60 per cent local raw materials content and/ or value-added of at least 30 per cent of the ex-factory price of the finished goods with exception of armaments, ammunition and other military equipment, psychotropic drugs or narcotic.



In his opening remarks, NEXIM Managing Director, Robert U. Orya identified decline in the formal trade flows between countries in the region, especially, formal trade flows from Nigeria to other West Africa countries, which he noted had brought about dearth of trade statistical data for policy planning and formulation.



"Although some key stakeholders have also identified ignorance of the prospects of formal trade in the region and many other transactional bottlenecks as the basis for weakened trade in the region, permit me to say that the major problem is largely that of inadequate investment funds to finance and facilitate formal trade for prospective exporters and importers."



He said given the recent world economic crisis that brought about declining trade volumes and credit squeeze. "It is essential that developmental institutions pursue avenues of attracting long term investment funds for exporters to expand market destinations," adding that in order to achieve this singular objective of foreign capital inflow and intra-regional trade integration, the board of NEXIM has approved an initial take-off seed fund of N500 million while NEXIM strategic partners have agreed to open funding windows that would facilitate funding intervention under the ECOWAS TSF.



Minister of state for Finance, Remi Babalola represented by Mr. Winne Barry pledged the ministry's support to NEXIM in ensuring it realises its mandate and vision as the nation's export credit guaranty agency.



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