The Ghana Export-Import (EXIM) Bank has said it plans to inject at least GH¢200million into supporting businesses in 2019, as it positions itself to be a key financier of the export-led growth agenda.
Its CEO, Lawrence Kwabena Agyinsam, said the export and import-focused bank is on the international market trying to raise about GH¢400million.
“2019 is going to be the action year to give meaning and to show visible signs of actualising the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme.
The bank is almost through with its integration process following the merger of three institutions – the Export Trade, Agricultural and industrial Development Fund (EDAIF), Export Finance Company Limited and Eximguaranty Company Ghana Limited.
“We have set aside almost GH¢200million for 2019, and it could be more because we are in the international market to raise funds; and if that should come in, we would have almost GH¢600million to inject into the economy next year,” he said.
Mr. Agyinsam spoke to the B&FT after the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry adjudged his outfit ‘Development Bank of the Year’ at the Chamber’s Business Awards 2017, in Accra.
He said since the inception of EXIM Bank about two years ago, almost GH¢400million has been disbursed to local businesses under the 1D1F, as well as government’s stimulus package for struggling but viable companies.
Some of these existing businesses, he added, just need retooling and working capital to return to normal operations.
In all, he said, 39 projects at various stages of completion under the 1D1F have so far been supported.
On when the integration processes will be completed, he said: “We have almost completed the integration process, and currently EximGuaranty is with EXIMBank. There are a few things – about 5 to 10 percent – still left for us to bring closure to the integration process; but we have been integrated physically in terms of personnel and operations.”
It takes time to set up industries
According to him, it takes over 12 months to complete all the processes and procedures before approval can be given to start a factory, which he said explains why only 39 factories have so far been approved.
Explaining the processes involved, he said it takes not less than three to six months for a credit to be approved; and it takes at least another two months for a business plan and feasibility study to be completed, while equipment manufacturing takes six to eight months.
Additionally, he said, if the equipment is coming from China, it takes four to six weeks for it to land in Ghana. Meaning that from the day of conception to actualisation, it takes well over a year to set up a factory.
“We need to appreciate the processes to be able to put up a factory. So, if in two years of the President’s administration we have done 39 projects and another 79 have been approved as stated in the 2019 Budget, then this government needs encouragement and commendation because there is hope for us to be able to do this 1D1F.”
Award means a lot
“It means a lot to us at EXIM Bank Ghana – it is a recognition of the hard work that we put in during 2017.
“This award will push us to do much more in 2019. Already, we have done a lot this year – almost 39 projects at various stages are ongoing. We have covered six regions in the country with our financial solutions,” an elated Agyinsam said when asked what it means to win the Chamber Business Awards’ 2017 Development Bank of the Year.
Among the successes chalked up in 2017, and for which reason EXIM Bank was adjudged Development Bank of the Year, the CEO said within the first 10 months in office the sod was cut for Ekumfi Pinneaple Factory to commence.
He added: “We have been in operation for just two years, but already we have been recognised by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry- the umbrella-body of the private sector. This goes to show how EXIM Bank is leaving footprints on the economy.”