The African Export Import Bank has made known its intervention in the maritime sector in the last three years include more than $500m facilities for the Onne Port expansion in the Onne FTZ, Nigeria, Gabon, Cote D’ivoire, vessel finance for delightering, security patrol of offshore platforms, and hotels in Cape Verde.
According to a statement, the President, Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, disclosed this while delivering a paper titled ‘Awakening the blue giant: Catalysing the growth of Nigeria’s maritime economy through public relations,’ at the 19th NECCI PR roundtable at Four Point by Sheraton in Lagos.
Oramah said Afreximbank had continued to push the limits in Africa to promote intra and extra African trade.
He stated, “Total assets as at June 2019 closed at $15.4bn, gross income of $498m, net income of $137m, CAR at 23 per cent, non-performing loan at three per cent, CIR at 17.4 per cent and shareholders’ funds of $2.7bn.”
Speaking on the importance of blue economy, he said, “The Blue Economy, also referred to as the ocean or maritime economy, is a concept which leverages the strength of the maritime ecosystem including fishing; shipping and maritime transport; coastal tourism; marine energy (fossil and renewable); pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, genetic resources and general sea-based products for economic growth and development.”
He added, “Africa’s seas and oceans represent major assets with the potential to accelerate the development of African economies. Indeed, according to the African Union, 90 per cent of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted through the sea. The African Union has recognised the importance of the BE and has included it in its Agenda 2063, which is a blueprint for development of the continent for the next few decades.”
Speaking on the reasons why the country must take the maritime sector seriously, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said that despite series of effort channelled towards diversification of Nigeria’s economy the results were yet to be visible as oil still contributed over 70 per cent of foreign exchange.