Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra (sitting left), and A-Z Petroleum Chairman Chika Okafor (sitting right) get ready to sign the agreement for the $80 million facility.
Targeting a major boost in its petroleum products manufacturing and distribution capacity, leading indigenous West Africa oil and gas sector operator, A-Z Petroleum Products limited of Nigeria, today signed on to an African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) $80-million dual tranche loan and credit facility.
The first tranche of the facility is structured as a $30 million five-year term loan to finance the company’s expansion activities in Ghana, with the importation of a lubricant blending plant and a plastic making equipment and the construction of a 40-metric ton tank farm. The second tranche, a $50 million standby letter of credit facility, is for the importation of petroleum products under petroleum products supply contracts between A-Z Petroleum and approved sellers.
Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank, said during the signing ceremony at the Bank’s Headquarters in Cairo that the transaction demonstrated the institution’s continued commitment to championing the promotion of trade across Africa in line with its trade finance and development mandate.
“We are providing this facility in a bid to deepen and broaden our support to Nigeria, Ghana and the African petroleum sector,” stated Mr. Ekra, who noted that since its creation, Afreximbank had continually supported Nigerian corporates and had been an active supporter of the government’s local content policy.
Responding, Mr. Chika Okafor, Chairman of A-Z Petroleum Limited, said that the transaction marked the beginning of a new relationship between Afreximbank and the Chicason Group, of which A-Z Petroleum is a subsidiary, as it opened up enormous opportunities for the Bank to work with the Group.
Afreximbank is the arranger, agent, security trustee and issuing bank for the facility while Diamond Bank plc, Nigeria, is the designated local administrative agent and risk participant. A-Z Petroleum (Ghana) limited is the corporate guarantor and Ace Audit & Expertise Nigeria Limited is the collateral manager.
The Chicason Group is an African indigenous conglomerate with operational presence in countries across the continent, including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Guinea. With a current work force of 5000, expected to grow to 15,000 by 2015, the Group’s operations include activities in the oil and gas, manufacturing, cement and real estate sectors.
Afreximbank External Communications