The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Friday said it has disbursed $200 million to a Nigerian lender, Zenith Bank Plc.
The disbursement was done under its Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA).
A statement by Afreximbank on Friday said that the funds will assist the bank in its maintenance of foreign currency trade flows impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund will also enable the bank to lend to eligible sub-borrowers involved in the manufacture and supply of medical resources needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
PATIMFA initiative was set up in March 2020 to provide financing to assist Afreximbank member countries. It is a three-year medium-term facility made available through direct funding, which enables countries to adjust in an orderly manner to the financial, economic and health services shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the PATIMFA, Afreximbank says it has already disbursed more than $3.5 billion.
In his reaction Friday, President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, said the initiative is designed to support and stabilise the foreign exchange resources of African countries, enabling them to support critical imports under emergency conditions.
“We are pleased to contribute to keeping economies going, especially during this pandemic,” he said.
“The role that banks such as Zenith Bank play in Africa is huge.
“Supporting them to carry out their mandate is our greatest contribution to making sure that African countries and institutions build back better from the shocks of the pandemic.”
For Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Zenith Bank, the Afreximbank facility undoubtedly underscores the confidence reposed in Zenith Bank.
“It will enable the bank to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by providing trade finance and foreign currency funding for the importation of urgent medical equipment and raw materials,” he said.