The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says a delegation from Abia State of Nigeria led the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu visited its headquarters in Cairo for support to industrialise the state.
In a statement on Thursday in Lagos, the bank said the delegation visited on Feb. 8 for finance in the building of an industrial city, Enyimba Industrial City.
Ikpeazu was quoted as saying that the support was to leverage on the state’s competitive advantage by tapping into the industrial clusters that existed in Aba area of the state.
According to the governor, there are some 250 clusters in Aba, each employing about four people, which have been actively engaged in producing garments and other wears that are exported.
He said that the exported items, which were good quality, were rebranded with foreign labels before being sold in the international market including Nigeria.
“As a result, Enyimba Industrial City has been conceptualised where infrastructure will be provided and other support structures made available to catalyse industrialisation in the state and in Nigeria’s South-east region,” he said.
Dr Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, said that the state’s approach resonated with the bank’s new strategic plan which had the promotion of intra-African trade as one of its key pillars.
Oramah said the bank would support the development of industrial parks, export processing zones and special economic zones.
He said that the bank would also support the creation of export trading companies to help take the goods manufactured in the industrials parks such as the one envisaged in Aba into the export market.
Oramah said the bank had plans to establish certification centres in Africa with the first in Nigeria.
According to him, the aim is to ensure goods manufactured on the continent, such as shoes and garments produced in Aba, receive quality certification labels to make them more acceptable abroad.
Afreximbank is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra and extra African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
Since 1994, it has approved more than 51 billion dollars in credit facilities to African businesses, including about 10.3 billion dollars in 2016.
Afreximbank had total assets of 9.4 billion dollars as at April 30, 2016 and is rated BBB- (Fitch) and Baa1 (Moody’s).