FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2008
Marianna Ohe (202-565-3206)
LAGOS, NIGERIA - To meet growing demand from Nigerian banks for financing to support Nigerian purchases of U.S. goods and services, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has more than doubled the size of its Nigerian Bank Facility to $1 billion, the Bank announced today.
The facility covering 14 Nigerian banks allows for expedited processing of short- and medium-term insurance and guarantee transactions in support of U.S. exports to Nigeria, and now will accommodate long-term transactions as well.
Since its 2005 restructuring, the Nigerian banking sector's growth has been truly outstanding, said Ex-Im Bank Board Director J. Joseph Grandmaison. In 2007 alone, the banking sector's assets rose by 55 percent and its average net earnings by 64 percent, while the sector raised an additional $10.3 billion in capital. The banking sector is committed to playing a more prominent role in sub-Saharan Africa.
Initially the demand from Nigerian banks was for short-term financing, and more recently for medium-term financing, Grandmaison said.
Now, with the focus on larger infrastructure projects, we are receiving requests for financing transactions in excess of $10 million, with terms of seven to ten years, to support U.S. exports such as passenger aircraft, oil and gas equipment, dredges, and telecommunications and manufacturing equipment, he said. That is why we are reaching out to our Nigerian partner banks to restructure our relationship. The changes also are aimed at rewarding those banks that are active users of the Ex-Im Bank facility.
However Ex-Im Bank is open to consider transactions with Nigerian banks that are not members of the facility. We welcome the opportunity to work with all of Nigeria's banks, Grandmaison said.
Grandmaison announced the expanded facility at an export credit workshop in Lagos, U.S. Government Agencies: A New and Practical Approach to Export Credit and Financing Opportunities, sponsored by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Renee Sanders. The event follows a three-day Nigerian Independent Power Project (IPP) Financial Seminar in Abuja, sponsored by Ex-Im Bank in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 74th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans.
In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $433.5 million to support export of U.S. goods and services to sub-Saharan Africa. Overall for that fiscal year, the Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. The Bank authorized $3.4 billion in direct support of U.S. small businesses for the year. The 2,390 transactions in support of small business during 2007 represented 85.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank transactions. For more information about Ex-Im Bank export finance solutions for sub-Saharan Africa, visit www.exim.gov/.