Finance

Afreximbank expresses readiness to partner Ogun in critical areas

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) have announced a $750,000 grant to support the charting of the main channel of the Niger-Benue river in Nigeria, as part of the Regional Sealink Project, which aims to bridge the gap in maritime transport infrastructure and improve trade connectivity in West Africa.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) yesterday expressed readiness to partner Ogun State in areas such as transport, health, among others.

The outgoing Regional Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr Abdoulaye Kone, said this during a meeting with some officials of the state including the State Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker.

The Afreximbank team was led by its new Regional Chief Operating Officer, Anglophone West Africa, Mr Eric Intongin.

Kone disclosed that the quality assurance centre it was building in the state would be ready soon.

In his response, Okubadejo said the state would continue to collaborate with development agencies and private partners to foster its economic growth and ensure the prosperity of its people.

Okubadejo noted that the need to seamlessly drive such partnership informed the passage of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law and setting up of the PPP office by the current administration.

He identified the proposed agro-cargo airport, deep seaport, development of various economic clusters, special agro-processing zones, among others, as some of the initiatives the government was taking to further entrench the state as the investors’ destination of choice in the country.

While underscoring the role of banks in the overall economic development of Africa, the Commissioner emphasised that Ogun State was critical to the development of Nigeria because of its location and size.

“We see Afreximbank as a worthy partner, not only because of the fact that it is an international Africa- based development financial institution but also because of the active interest it takes in promoting the economies of Africa.

“Ogun State is key to the objectives of Afreximbank because we are the leading manufacturing and industrial hub for Nigeria by virtue of our size.

“Being the centre of industrialisation in Nigeria, it would mean that as we embark on all the reforms that this administration has commenced, it behoves us to look for worthy partners that will work for hand in hand with us in the economic development of this State, which is also very crucial to the economic survival of the South-West Nigeria, and Nigeria as a whole,” the Commissioner added.

In her remark, Coker thanked the bank for its cooperation in the health sector as she sought further collaborations in that regard.

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