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EX-IM BANK TO SUPPORT U.S. EXPORTS TO NIGERIAN PROJECTS

Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon Signs Project Incentive Agreement with Nigerian Government To Facilitate U.S. Exports for Infrastructure Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 26, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

U.S.A. — Linda Formella, Ex-Im Bank, Washington, D.C.: 202-565-3200, Nigeria — Tim Smith, U.S. Embassy, Lagos: 234-9-523-0960

Abuja, Nigeria: James A. Harmon, chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), today signed a Project Incentive Agreement with the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria that will provide for specialized financing structures to increase financing of U.S. exports for Nigerian private sector infrastructure projects. Nigeria is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to sign a project incentive agreement with Ex-Im Bank, which has similar agreements with Vietnam, Russia, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine.

In signing this agreement, the Nigerian government is sending a strong signal to U.S. exporters that it is willing to work with the private sector to facilitate economic growth and development, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Harmon. It will also serve as a foundation and a vehicle for attracting more foreign investment to Nigeria.

Under the Project Incentive Agreement, Ex-Im Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian government will work together to establish procedures to enable Ex-Im Bank to provide financial support in structured medium- and long-term transactions for U.S. exports for infrastructure projects in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has committed to issuing all approvals necessary to establish and operate payment accounts for specialized transactions, and the Central Bank of Nigeria has also committed to expediting government approvals and permits for projects. The PIA includes security arrangements for transactions that utilize hard currency commodity export contracts, such as those generated by oil and gas export sales.

In October 1999, Ex-Im Bank opened for short- and medium-term financing to the private sector in Nigeria. Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to developing markets around the world, through export credit insurance, working capital loan guarantees, loan guarantees and direct loans. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank approved nearly $600 million for U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa — an 11-fold increase over the previous fiscal year.

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