10 banks to finance $1bn Lekki Port project

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Ten financial institutions are to finance the $1bn Lekki Deep Sea port project. which is expected to begin operations in 2018.

The Chief Financial Officer, Tolaram Group, Sandeep Parasramake, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, listed the institutions to include the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Others are Rand Merchant Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Africa Finance Corporation, Propaco, Entrepreneurial Development Bank, German Investment and Development Corporation; and International Finance Corporation.

Parasramaka debunked media reports that the project had suffered a setback because some financial institutions had backed out of it.

He said, “There have been no withdrawals from any financial institutions. All the institutions mentioned above are steadily progressing towards financial close and debt drawdown.

AFB recently obtained board approval for funding; $150m and European Investment Bank has also got in principal board approval for €160m.

“AFDB is leading the loan syndications with other development institutions like IFC, Propaco, etc. which constitutes almost half of the total debt required for the project and their credit approval was dependent of AFDB approval to a large extent.

“Also, AFDB approval signals clearance of the project’s environment and social impact as per World Bank guidelines. We have few more International commercial banks which are also in the process of securing their credit approvals.

“All the banks are very keen to participate in the project given its strategic importance, competitive advantage, good financial returns and strong government support.”

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