The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said Nigeria is discussing the possibility of increasing its shareholding with AFREXIM Bank.
The minister during a meeting with the President, African Export-Import Bank, Prof Okey Oramah, on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 said, Nigeria currently owns 40 per cent shares in the bank.
She said, “We have met with a delegation of Afrexim Bank from Cairo. Nigeria is a major shareholder in the bank. Part of what we have discussed is the possibility of increasing our shareholding and we discussed some of the projects and programs that Afrexim is supporting in Nigeria.
“Afrexim has a very large portfolio in Nigeria. About 40 percent of the bank’s portfolio is in Nigeria – support to the government but largely to the private sector. We have the need to increase our shareholding in the bank because there is a lot of value that we are getting from Afrexim Bank.”
On trade agreements, the finance minister said, “Trade Agreements are not things that the government will just enter into without due consultations with stakeholders in the private sector. We need to discuss with the private sector and agree with operators in that sector before we join. The discussions have been going on but we have not reached a consensus. We need to reach a consensus before we agree, that discussion is being driven by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.”
Also speaking on the high-level discussion between Nigerian officials and the Afrexim Bank delegation, the President of the Bank, Dr. Oranma said, “Nigeria is still a major shareholder in the bank, although of recent, it has fallen back in terms of its relative position. That is why we have had this discussions with the Minister of Finance to see how Nigeria could return the position it was.
“We have gotten assurances that the government would look at it and we hope that Nigeria’s holdings would come to the levels that would reflect the size of the Nigerian economy.”