The African Development Bank, AfDB, has approved a total of $350 million to two Nigerian Banks to assist local firms involved in import and export activities.
First Bank of Nigeria gets $300 million and FSDH Merchant Bank Nigeria gets $50 million.
This was disclosed in AfDB’s monthly newsletter which was issued by the Nigeria Country Field Office on Wednesday in Abuja.
The newsletter indicated that the two facilities were part of the AfDB’s broader efforts to provide support to the Nigerian economy at a time of falling commodity prices.
It added that the fall had caused shortages in foreign currency supply and has led to unmet demand for trade finance instruments to support Nigeria’s on-going economic transitions.
The publication stated that: “The facilities will support local enterprises involved in import-export activity.
“The loans will help address critical market demand for trade finance and dollar liquidity by supporting vital economic sectors such as agri-business, chemicals, construction, engineering, food processing, manufacturing and non-traditional exports.
“It will foster financial sector development, enhance regional integration, contributing to increased government revenue generation at a time when the Nigerian economy is facing fiscal pressures and foreign currency liquidity challenges.
“The loans will enhance support to domestic enterprises whose businesses are being hamstrung by shortages in dollar funding.’’
The publication noted that if fully utilised, the loans were expected to facilitate about 2.5 billion dollars of export-import related activity, especially in intermediate and finished goods, raw materials and equipment to support economic growth and tax generation over a 3.5 year period.