The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has disclosed that in the last three years, its contributions to the maritime sector amount to more than $500 million facilities for the Onne Port expansion in the Onne FTZ, Nigeria, Gabon, Cote D’Ivoire, vessel finance for delightering as well as security patrol of offshore platforms, hotels in Cape Verde.
The disclosure was made by the Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah while delivering a paper at the 19th NECCI PR Roundtable, titled ‘Awakening the Blue Giant: Catalysing the Growth of Nigeria’s Maritime Economy through Public Relations’.
Oramah reiterated the bank’s position in promoting intra and extra African trade while also emphasizing the importance of the blue economy that is the maritime industry. He said the blue economy is a concept which leverages the strength of the maritime ecosystem which includes 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.
While delivering his paper, Oramah also said, “Total assets as at June 2019 closed at $15.4billion, gross income of $498million, net income of $137million, CAR (Capital Adequacy Ratio) at 23 per cent, NPL (non Performing Loan) at three per cent, CIR (Cost Income Ratio) at 17.4 per cent and shareholders’ funds of $2.7billion.
“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% of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted through the sea. The African Union has recognized the importance of the BE and has included it in its Agenda 2063, which is a blueprint for the development of the continent for the next few decades.”
The need for maritime industry to be taken seriously: Also present at the roundtable was the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, who stated that despite series of effort channeled towards diversification of Nigeria’s economy, the results were yet to be visible as oil still contributed over 70% of foreign exchange.
Peterside also pointed out that although the maritime sector is capital intensive, it can play a key role in the diversification agenda.