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Nigeria: Afreximbank Boosts Mbah’s Investment Drive

Afreximbank’s dedication to mobilize funds for critical infrastructure projects in Enugu State serves as a significant endorsement and strengthens Governor Peter Mbah’s investment efforts and leadership approach, according to Gideon Arinze.

In a clear affirmation of Governor Mbah’s investment endeavors, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, marked his first official function in 2024 at the Government House in Enugu. On January 2, he, along with a team from Afreximbank, visited the seat of power to personally assess key investment-enabling infrastructure and development projects prioritized by the government. This visit also aimed to finalize ongoing discussions regarding the mobilization of finances for these projects. In December 2023, Governor Mbah and his team had visited Cairo, the headquarters of Afreximbank, to present the administration’s vision and discuss potential areas of support.

Afreximbank has expressed support for key projects, including the finalization of the international wing of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, the construction of a cargo terminal at the airport, the completion of the long-neglected Enugu International Conference Centre, and the building of a five-star hotel and a world-class hospital in the state capital. Governor Mbah considers these projects as crucial enablers for fostering exponential economic growth and development in Enugu State.

Speaking during his visit to Enugu, the Afreximbank boss said that he was impressed with Mbah’s vision, investment priorities and energetic drive to turn the Enugu State economy around, stressing, “whenever we see a leader take such solid and courageous steps, we fall in line because it makes our work much easier.”

He further stated: “We have been discussing how to support the Enugu State Government and people. Today is the 2nd of January. So, this is the first official assignment I would do in 2024. It is remarkable for me and it speaks a whole lot about our friendship and also the confidence in the work you are doing and the vision you have, not only for this great state, but also for our country, Nigeria.

“We also thank you for the wisdom of visiting us in Cairo and having an extensive discussion on the development priorities of your government. We share in most of those priorities. In fact, I think the strategic thinking you have shown is still out of the book of our own, especially in how we believe that sub-nationals can contribute to the development aspirations of our country, Nigeria, and our continent.

“I know we have identified specific areas, where we intend to quickly advance collaboration. We want to take a look at the hotel and the Conference Centre that is under development to work with you and see how quickly we can complete them.

He noted that the bank was interested in supporting the development of the new terminal at the airport and especially the cargo terminal and, of course, using it as a base to implement and grow an agro-processing zone.

“We also think that the work that is being done at the hospital is nice. We are working on the African Medical Centre of Excellence. We are building one in Abuja. So, it is in that spirit that we will be looking at that medical centre to see how we can bring it into the circle.

He further stated that the bank was also interested in considering the development of solid minerals in Enugu State, adding that it would follow that very closely and see what role it can play.

“There are a number of infrastructural projects, roads that not only connect us, but also all the way to Cameroon. And that is why I think we have agreed that we put in place their preparation facility so that we can begin to develop bankable values for those aspects of interventions that we share as priorities.

“I want to assure you that you can count on us because we believe in the vision you have and we believe that those things that you have identified are things that will shape this state and also our country, Nigeria, and continent.

“Nigeria is not only the largest shareholder of Afreximbank, but also the largest economy on the continent. So, everything that happens to Nigeria, happens to Africa. So, for us, anything we can do to make Nigeria great is something that helps us to make Africa great.”

Underscoring the need for early completion of the projects, he added: “It is our hope that by the end of 2024, we can point to some of these projects as completed projects or projects nearing completion for the benefit of Enugu State people, for the benefit of Nigeria, benefit of Africa, and of course, benefit of Afreximbank.”

source: thisdaylive.com

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