Obinna Chima

The 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 yesterday when he featured as guest on the Fidelity SME Radio Forum, a programme sponsored by the bank to educate, inform, advise and inspire budding entrepreneurs, that was monitored on Inspiration FM in Lagos.

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

Wali described Nigeria as a blessed country with huge untapped resources in the non-oil sector, just as he cited a National Bureau of Statistics report which put the total value of the country’s non-oil earnings in 2015 at $5.9 billion, with an average of $6.18 billion over the past five years.

He said the ESF is aimed at incentivising and encourage entrepreneurs in the export sector so as to boost foreign exchange earnings from the non-oil sector.
According to the NEXIM boss, in terms of informal trade, the amount ranges between $12 billion and $14 billion annually.

“For any entrepreneur, the first and basic requirement is that you should know what you are getting into. The most important aspect in business is integrity. The major challenge for Nigerian entrepreneurs is the issue of process. Entrepreneurs in Nigeria like in any other part of the world are impatient to get going and only few have the resilience to go through due process.

“Documentation for export takes time and is painstaking. The processes in terms of meeting up with standard, the packaging, all take time. Due diligence and KYC requirement also takes time. So, I think patient is one thing we need,” he added.

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.
The NEXIM Bank boss commended Fidelity Bank’s effort to build capacity among operators in the non-oil sector.

“Fidelity Bank is a trail-blazer in this area. This is the first initiative that would open up the export sector and the opportunities that abound in this sector for information dissemination and capacity building. It is a very wonderful initiative and it is a step in the right direction. This is a perfect arrangement between a commercial enterprise in the private sector and the government and we are all united to ensure success of this project,” he added.