The U.S. Export-Import Bank has authorized a $15.7 million direct loan to the state government of Lagos, Nigeria, to underwrite the purchase of 32 American fire trucks made by W.S. Darley & Co. of Itasca, Ill.
The loan, which is in line with the Obama administration’s “Doing Business in Africa Campaign,” will support about 100 U.S. jobs, according to Commerce and Labor department estimates. Moreover, 65 percent of the financing is expected to support American small businesses.
“This transaction reflects our continued commitment to increasing exports to sub-Saharan Africa while supporting American small-business jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg in a statement. “Additionally, the financing, which targets one of our nine key markets, ensures the government of Lagos can respond efficiently and effectively to emergency situations.”
The state of Lagos, which is home to Nigeria’s commercial center and largest city of the same name, plans to upgrade its fleet of fire-fighting vehicles. The governor of Lagos has declared the expansion and re-equipping of the fire service is an urgent matter of state security, Ex-Im Bank said.
Darley is a family-owned small business founded in 1908. The company, which has exported its products to foreign markets since the 1940s, designs and manufactures firefighting trucks, equipment, pumping, and safety gear. Darley’s Africa representative, Trinity International Inc. of Potomac, Md., arranged the transaction.
In fiscal year 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $1.5 billion to support U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa.