FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 24, 2004
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today approved a $10.4 million loan guarantee to support the sale by Harris Corp., Redwood City, CA, and other U.S. suppliers of equipment and services for a fixed wireless telecommunications network throughout five states in southwestern Nigeria.
The buyer and end user is Odu'a Telecoms Limited (Odu'a Tel), Dugbe, Nigeria. Suppliers on the export sale include Marconi Communications, Warrendale, PA; Andrew Corp., Orland Park, IL; Eagle Telephonics, Inc., Bohemia, NY; Eltek Energy LLC, Crystal Lake, IL; and Riverstone Networks Inc., Santa Clara, CA.
This technology export to an important sub-Saharan African market will support U.S. jobs and at the same time will bring telephone service to tens of thousands of Nigerians, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. We hope to support Odu'a Tel's continued expansion to meet the strong demand for communication services in Nigeria.
The Ex-Im Bank support is helping Harris' Microwave Communication Division support our customer base in Nigeria while generating additional revenue for our U.S. exports, which translates into maintaining and increasing our workforce in the US, said Joseph Joseph, managing director for Africa and the Middle East of Harris' Microwave Communication Division.
The guaranteed lender on the transaction is Toronto Dominion Bank, Houston, TX. The guarantor on the transaction is a consortium of three Nigerian banks -- Access Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, and Wema Bank Plc.
Odu'a Tel will use Harris's point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access system (ClearBurst MB) over a microwave backhaul system. Initially, Odu'a Tel will buy 10,500 remote stations and 13 base stations. The purchase includes antennas, radio equipment, power systems, related services and additional telecommunication software and hardware. The network is expected to have a capacity of 75,000 lines by year's end, with 564,500 lines operational by 2008.
The network will provide voice and data services to residential and public payphone customers. It also can provide leased lines and video conferencing services.
Currently, two out of every 100 Nigerians have access to phones.
Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance 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 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank and its initiatives to support Iraqi reconstruction, visit www.exim.gov.