Obinna Chima

Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) has advised exporters to take advantage of the N500billion non-oil Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) as well as the expansion of the export credit Rediscounting and Refinancing Facilities (RRF) to boost their operations and create jobs.

The acting Managing Director/Chief Executive, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Bashir Wali, made this call in his welcome address at a stakeholders’ engagement session and press conference to unveil the Non-oil export stimulation scheme that took place in Lagos yesterday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently introduced the schemes with a view to supporting the diversification of the the economy away from oil and to expedite the growth and development of the non-oil export sector.

Wali, explained that over the past few months, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank has been working with the central bank to review existing policies and strategies towards increasing funding support and stimulating additional investments in the non-oil export sector.

During the course of this review, he said both institutions met with various stakeholders, including exporters, commodity associations, bankers, the organised private sector and other relevant government agencies to obtain strategic inputs and share perspectives towards achieving our common objective of diversifying the Nigerian economy as well as improving and broadening the contribution of the non-oil export sector to our national development.

The NEXIM Bank boss said it was expected that with the release of the guidelines and commencement of the schemes, Nigerian exporters and export oriented businesses would seize the opportunity to expand and upscale their operations towards boosting the current low contribution of non-oil exports, which had remained at about five years over the years.

“Let me also add that besides the issues of availability and access to funds, we have also intensified our collaborations and engagements with relevant institutions and stakeholders towards addressing other challenges affecting the export sector such as the problems of infrastructure, issues of packaging and labelling as well as improving access to market,” he added.
According to Wali, the main purpose of the forum was to create discussion of the implementation modalities, the role of all participants and the expected outcomes from the successful implementation of these schemes.

On his part, the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, said the schemes were introduced because it was observed that non-oil export credit had been on the decline compared to total domestic credit to the private sector.
The CBN director who was represented by an Assistant Director at the Development Finance Department, Udoo Fateh, added that NEXIM Bank is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the facilities.