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AfDB Signs $700m Credit Deal With Nigerian Lenders

The African Development Bank said it signed an agreement to provide credit of $700 million to two Nigerian lenders to finance non-oil exports in the West African nation.

Africa’s development lender, also known as AfDB, will provide $500 to Lagos-based Bank of Industry and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank in addition to technical assistance for disbursement, it said late yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The loans will target “export-oriented small and medium enterprises,” Ousman Dore, AfDB’s representative in Nigeria, said in the statement.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people, is seeking to reduce dependence on oil exports, which account for about 80 percent of government revenue and more than 95 percent of export income. The government wants to reduce oil’s contribution to revenue to 60 percent in the medium term, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Dec. 3.

The funds provided by AfDB is expected help create 55,000 new jobs in addition to increasing export income, Robert Orya, managing director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank, said in the statement.

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