The African Development Bank (AfDB) is providing funding for a paper mill project in Nigeria intended to cut down on the import of newsprint paper products into the country.
The bank is lending $30 million for the $200 million Oku Iboku Pulp and Paper Mill (OKIPP), which will also source debt from DFIs and local Nigerian commercial banks. In addition to lending to the project, the AfDB is also acting as mandated lead arranger.
OKIPP, located in the south-east of Nigeria, entails the rehabilitation and upgrade of an integrated pulp and paper mill which makes newsprint and related papers in two Nigerian states. The storied plant was originally established as a government-owned company, shut down in the 1990s, and subsequently acquired but indigenous engineering company Negris Group in 2008, following a privatisation process.
The AfDB hopes the rehabilitated plant will, in addition to generating savings on imports, help develop pulp and paper technological skills through a transfer of specialised skills and development of links to small and medium-sized enterprises.