Afreximbank loan will seal industrial sector’s funding gap— BoI

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The Bank of Industry (BoI) says the 750 billion dollars loan facility by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will be used to fill the funding gap in Nigeria’s industrial sector.

The bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olukayode Pitan, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Pitan said that the loan granted to the BoI was the largest that had been done for any Nigerian financial institution by Afreximbank.

“This gives us additional roughly N230billion to N250billion depending on the exchange rate, to deploy to the industrial sector.

“We have done our own study and found that there was a gap on the funding of the industrial sector; our study showed about N704billion.

“So, this is our way of trying to fill that gap and basically, we are looking at the small, medium and large enterprises.

“We are looking at enterprises/ companies that have a focus in using our local raw materials, companies that generate employments and we want to bring down their cost of borrowing.

“We have made with CBN, this fund will be deployed at less than 10 per cent per annum,” he said.

Pitan, who said the loan by Afrexim was medium term, said that it would run for three years with a pricing that was liable for six per cent, which is very good.

He said that the bank planned to focus on the creative industry, light manufacturers, miners, gender businesses and various ways of promoting the Nigerian business sector.

On the pricing, Pitan explained that the three years arrangement was good as it was cheaper and would allow the bank to be able to refinance again.

He said: “If we are going for six years, the pricing will be more expensive, the plan is that the time we would have done three years of this, we will refinance again.

“What this has done basically is to allow us to borrow more, so definitely we are going to do more than three years.

“We are looking at seven to eight years for the industrial sector, but like I said, this is just for us to go out there in the market and raise money.

“What we are working with the CBN will be a longer term loan where people can borrow for between seven and eight years.

The Afreximbank had on July 14 signed a 750million dollar loan facility with BoI to support industrialisation and export development in Nigeria.

The signing, which was witnessed by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was done at the sideline of Afreximbank’s 2018 Annual General Meeting in Abuja. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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