President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the Nigerian government will continue to support efforts that would broaden the economy through multilateral financing.
The president, according to a statement by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday, stated this when Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), paid him a courtesy call on Sunday, in Durban, South Africa.
The meeting was held ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2nd Intra-African Trade Fair Conference in the South African city on Monday.
President Buhari said: “I appreciate the support you are giving Nigerian businesses and by implication, the Nigerian economy. Rest assured you can count on me as you seek a better trade and investment climate for Africa.”
Oramah, who arrived in company of the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, thanked President Buhari for honouring the invitation of the South African President to attend the Afreximbank-backed Fair, alongside other Heads of State.
He added that this clearly demonstrated that “President Buhari understands the importance of trade and how Intra-African trade can help transform the African economy and of course, that of Nigeria.”
He equally appreciated the Nigerian leader for granting land and accepting to grace the occasion of the ground-breaking ceremony of the Africa Medical Centre of Excellence project, to be implemented by the continental bank in Abuja, in December.
According to Oramah, Nigeria is an important market for the bank with an exposure of $5.5 billion dollars.
”It is, therefore, imperative that we continue to engage Nigeria at the highest level,” he said.
He revealed that Nigerian businesses got deals worth over $3.3 billion dollars during the first edition of the event in Cairo, Egypt.
According to him, more was expected at this year’s Fair with an assurance that Afreximbank would be ready to support such deals emanating from the event “especially considering the support we have seen from the President.
“Nigeria’s participation was essential as the largest economy in Africa. Africa needs Nigeria as Nigeria needs Africa.”
”Anything we do at the continental level that does not have Nigeria is seen globally as incomplete”, Oramah said.