Nigeria will be benefiting from a massive injection of development funding from the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank), which, it is hoped, will help in the creation of agricultural and industrial processing parks. About $1 billion is set to be pumped into the continent’s manufacturing and agricultural sectors to help exploit the recognised potential of these key sectors. Under the programme, the bank will be partnering with the China Export-Import Bank (China Exim Bank) to identify and finance projects across the continent.
The president of the Afrexim Bank, Dr Benedict Oramah, said that Nigeria, as well as other African countries, could take advantage of the rising labour costs in China, and promote itself as a destination for cost-effective manufacturing.
Dr Oramah made clear his belief that this presents Nigeria with an opportunity to diversify its export revenue base. Although the focus of the investment as explained by officials of the financial institution would be the expansion of Nigeria’s industrial capacity, Dr Oramah also harped on the need for Nigeria to harness the potentials of one sector in particular- the so-called “Blue Economy”, which consists of economic activity related to the country’s territorial waters.
The programme is expected to aid the development of special economic zones, light and heavy manufacturing, and infrastructure which would facilitate trade within and between countries in Africa.