Fidelity Bank Plc, in collaboration with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and JohnVents industries, has executed a tripartite deal of $40 million to facilitate the export of cocoa from Nigeria.
The deal was finalized at the second edition of Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC), an event hosted by the bank that brought together a broad range of businesses, regulators, members of the diplomatic corps, and other guests in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
The two-day event was a platform for discussions on the state of international trade, opportunities for business growth, and the need to support the creative economy. It also provided a unique opportunity for networking and relationship building. It aimed to achieve several objectives, including increasing the number of Nigerian businesses exporting to the US market, providing the diaspora market with more ethnic product options, and supporting exporters in building capacity to improve product quality and meet international standards.
One of the key highlights of the event was the signing of a $40 million pre-export finance facility in favour of JohnVents Industries by the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank) with Fidelity Bank as the local administrative agent.
In her welcome address, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, managing director and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank, said that the changing global economic landscape has made it imperative for businesses to seek viable alternatives and remain competitive.
She added that the event provided a unique opportunity for businesses and stakeholders to network, share ideas, and identify new opportunities for growth. She also expressed the bank’s commitment to facilitating trade and supporting businesses to maximize their potential.
According to Onyeali-Ikpe, the signing of the loan highlights the enormous potential of the Nigerian cocoa market. She noted that with the right support and investment, the market could be a major driver of economic growth and job creation. She also emphasized the importance of ensuring that local businesses have the capacity to meet international standards and compete effectively in the global market.
“We are delighted to participate in the tripartite loan signing ceremony as it demonstrates the size of the opportunity in the Nigerian cocoa market and its potential to meet the demand of off-takers in the U.S,” she said.
Onyeali-Ikpe further highlighted the value of Fidelity Bank’s partnership with AFREXIM Bank, particularly in providing much-needed financing to local businesses, helping them scale up their operations and compete in the global market. She added that this is in line with the bank’s goals for FITCC and expressed excitement at hosting the formal deal signing event.
The event, she said, will serve as a platform to further advance the bank’s objectives for FITCC, including building capacity for businesses and providing a networking and knowledge-sharing platform.