By Iyanu Oluwajomiloju
African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the disbursement of a US$150 million finance facility to First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider. The funding was provided under Afreximbank’s Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA).
Afreximbank’s US$150 million financial support will be accessible to FirstBank customers that are involved in the manufacturing and importation of products and equipment required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as initiatives to rehabilitate hospitals and strengthen diagnostic and testing capacity. The loan will also be used for the financing of trade debt payments falling due to avert payment defaults in trade debt obligations. In addition, proceeds of the facility will help beneficiary businesses manage the impacts of the Ukraine crisis.
Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, commented: “This new disbursement under PATIMFA is a further proof of the relevance of the programme in helping African economies to recover from the crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since April 2020, when PATIMFA was launched, we are more than proud to have disbursed more than US$7 billion to help Afreximbank member countries manage the adverse impact of the financial, economic and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through First Bank, one of our trade finance intermediaries, this $150 million facility will help build the resilience of many businesses to the adverse impacts of the pandemic, while helping them overcome the consequences of the current Ukraine crisis.”
Also expressing his delight in the partnership, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank’s CEO, said: “We commend Afreximbank for this impactful financial response. It will immensely contribute to empowering many businesses adversely impacted by the economic shocks caused by Covid-19. The selection of FirstBank as a partner in this initiative is a testament to their confidence in our capacity and proven track record over the years.
As a Bank that has been woven into the fabric of our society for over 128 years, we remain committed to the success of businesses in our host communities and ensuring they are given the needed boost to sustain their operations and further drive economic growth in the nation.”, he concluded.