Sandeep Parasramaka, chief financial officer, Tolaram Group, has disclosed that the African Development Bank, AfDB, one of the financiers of the Lekki Seaport project, has obtained approval of its board to commit $150 million to the project.
Parasramaka added that the port project got a boost with the recent conclusion of the due diligence required by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, one of its key investors, putting it on a firm footing to become operational by 2018.
“The project is very much on course and is progressing well; with respect to global standards, large infrastructure projects like this take time to achieve financial closure. I can confidently tell you that the African Development Bank has recently obtained board approval to fund the project, while the European Investment Bank, which is very much eager about investing in the project, has also got principal board approval, which will see them support the project with funds also,” he said.
Aside from that, he added that a few more international banks, which were in the process of securing their board approvals, were also going to join the list of investors in the project.
Parasramaka disclosed that investors were keen to participate in the project given its strategic importance, competitive advantage, good financial returns, strong government support and unprecedented economic value it was expected to inject into the economy.
“Conventionally, projects of this magnitude are undertaken through project financing on a non-recourse basis. This requires the lending parties to agree on appropriate terms of lending and conduct stringent due diligence. These processes take time and are very essential to achieving the debt financing,” he explained.
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