Prof. Benedict Oramah, President, African Export-Import Bank (AFRIEXIM), says Nigeria was still a major shareholder in the bank, having over 3.2 billion dollar worth of investments in the country.
He said this on Wednesday after a meeting with the Nigerian delegation on the sidelines of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Bali.
He said that although the Federal Government still had major shares in the bank, Nigeria had fallen back to the third position, after been overtaken by Egypt and Zimbabwe.
“That is why we have had these discussions with the Minister of Finance to see how Nigeria can return to the level it was.
“We have gotten assurances that the Nigerian government will look at it and we hope that Nigeria’s shareholding will come to the levels that reflects the size of Nigerian economy.”
He also said that the Federal Government had indicated interest in participating in the first Intra-African Trade Fair being organised by the African Union and AFRIEXIM and hosted by Egypt from Dec. 11 to Dec. 17.
He said that the fair would provide an opportunity for African countries and businesses to showcase what they were doing with opportunities for trade in the intra-African direction.
Oramah also said that the bank was supporting Nigeria in terms of lines of credit to commercial banks to enable it carry out importation and exportation and support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“We are also supporting many private businesses that are into manufacturing and all that.
“Beyond that we are pursuing other impactful initiatives and we are finalising arrangements to develop a center of excellence for healthcare because we want to see how we can begin to promote medical tourism in Nigeria.
“We want to develop a center that will make it possible for Nigeria to have facilities to take care of complex diseases such as oncology, haematology, cardiovascular and complex diseases.”
Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the meeting with Oramah was to discuss the possibility of increasing the nation’s shares in the bank, adding that the nation’s equity holdings in the bank stood at 40 per cent.
“We discussed some of the programmes and projects that the AFRIEXIM is supporting in Nigeria.
“We discussed setting up of a medical park in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is a discussion that has been going on for a very long time.
“We are also looking at setting up some quality assurance centers in Ogun state and other parts of the country.
“We also discussed opening up some industrial parks in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in three centers, one each in Lekki, Kano and Kaduna.
Ahmed said that the Federal Government was considering joining the AFRIEXIM trade policy, adding that it was consulting closely with the private sector to get its input before finalising it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2018 Annual Meetings of the IMF and WBG brings together experts to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development and aid effectiveness.