The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said, that yesterday, Nigeria was discussing the possibility of increasing its shareholding with Afrexim Bank.
Ahmed made this known in a statement signed by the special adviser on media and communications, Paul Ella Abechi.
According to the statement, the minister disclosed this during a meeting with the president, African Export-Import Bank, Prof Okey Oramah, on the sidelines of the on-going IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting. 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 programmes that Afrexim is supporting in Nigeria.
“Afrexim has a very large portfolio in Nigeria. About 40 per cent 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.”
According to her, “We discussed the setting up a medical park in the FCT which is a discussion that has been going on for quite a long time. There was also a discussion on the establishment of Quality Assurance Centres in Ogun and other parts of the country.
“We also discussed the setting up of industrial parks in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in three centres: Lekki, Kano and one in Kaduna.”
Speaking further 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.”