Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that the government was also discussing funding of some key projects with the bank.
She noted that the bank’s largest portfolio is in Nigeria and that it is important to harness this by increasing the country’s shareholding in the bank.
According to her, about 40 percent of the bank’s portfolio is in Nigeria, especially its support to the government and largely to the private sector.
“We have the need to increase our shareholding in the bank because there is a lot of value that we are getting from Afreximbank. We discussed the setting up a medical park in the Abuja, which is a discussion that has been going on for quite a long time. There was also a discussion on the establishment of quality assurance centres in Ogun State and other parts of the country.
“We also discussed the setting up of industrial parks in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in three centres- Lekki, Kano and Kaduna,” she said.
Speaking on the discussion, the Afreximbank President, Dr. Benedict Oramah said: “Nigeria is still a major shareholder in the bank, although of recent, it has fallen back in terms of its relative position. That is why we have had this discussion with the minister of finance to see how Nigeria could return to the position it was.
“We have got assurances that the government would look at it and we hope that Nigeria’s holdings would come to the levels that would reflect the size of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Oramah noted that the bank has over $3.2 billion exposure in Nigeria and that the bank is supporting virtually all the banks in Nigeria in terms of lines of credit to be able to do export and import as well as supporting the SMEs.