NEXIM Bank signs agreement to boost Nigerian non-oil exports

07 Jun 2019
Financial Nigeria


According to NEXIM Bank, the implementation of the Sealink project will boost Nigerian non-oil export revenue to between $500 million-$1.2 billion.

L: Dabney Shall-Holma, Chairperson, Sealink Implementation Committee; Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority; and Abba Bello, Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Export-Import Bank

The Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Sealink Promotional Company Limited to promote trade, development and the general prosperity of Nigeria. According to a statement released by NEXIM Bank, the tripartite agreement will catalyse the realisation of the Sealink project, a key project the Bank is facilitating with partners to help in removing non-tariff barriers and logistical challenges that have limited trade and maritime links within West and Central Africa.

The Sealink project will foster regional integration, economic growth and development of the West and Central Africa sub-regions. The Sealink Promotional Company is a special purpose entity established in 2012 to facilitate the implementation of the project.

The aim of the MoU, which was signed in Abuja, is to promote waterways operations for hinterland, transit and coastal trade, especially for bulk cargo. It will also increase Nigerian non-oil export revenue to between $500 million-$1.2 billion.

“This collaboration is a novel public-private partnership framework that is primarily designed to attract private sector investments under government agencies facilitative support at no cost to the government,” said Abba Bello, Managing Director/CEO of NEXIM Bank. “NEXIM’s strategic interest in the regional Sealink project is to promote and diversify exports and enhance connectivity in line with the government’s objective of diversifying the economy.”

Bello added that bridging the maritime infrastructure gap will significantly contribute to improving Nigeria’s position on the World Bank’s ease of doing business and logistics performance index. Nigeria currently ranks 146th out of 190 countries on the ease of doing business ranking.

According to NEXIM Bank, the implementation of the Sealink project and the safe use of the inland waterways will increase the exports of solid minerals and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of the shipping and solid minerals sectors. The project will also bridge the logistics gap in the country, attract investment inflows and ensure the realisation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) objectives.

“This marks another major step in the journey to reverse the dependence of our economy on oil and open up the vast untapped opportunities that the inland waterways can offer,” Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, Managing Director of NIWA, said. “Inland waterways transportation will not only ensure safer roads but also ensure the huge sum of money spent on road maintenance is diverted to other areas of the economy.”

The Chairperson of the Sealink Implementation Committee, Dabney Shall-Holma, said the Sealink project is fundamentally designed to bridge the maritime transport gap between Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) regions.

“The time has come for Nigeria to be bullish on its non-oil export trade to diversify the economy,” Shal-Holma said. “The Sealink consortium will be a key driver in both the national and the regional trade and logistics value chain.”

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