Stella Okotete: Upscaling The Nation’s Non-oil Export Sector

Stella Okotete

Justice Eze

President Muhammadu Buhari has made giant strides in the diversification agenda of his administration compared to the lip services that had greeted same by his predecessors.

This great feat has been made possible and visible by the brilliance and passion of some individuals who sees the project of diversification and the growing of the nation’s Non-oil sector from the mono- reliance on oil that has sustained the country’s GDP since 1960.

One of these great minds is Stella Okotete. Since her appointment in 2017, Honorable Stella Okotete, Executive Director, Business Development of NEXIM Bank has demonstrated that the womenfolk can stand up and be counted in policy introduction and implementation. She has shown passion for her job and has encouraged the bouncing back of many comatose industries especially with a focus on non oil sector.

At every opportunity even during the pandemic, Okotete was vibrant and active in using online medium like webinar and the zoom network to encourage Nigerians on how to survive the harsh Economic reality occasioned by the crash in oil price and the COVID 19 which ushered in a new normal.

She has been a blessing to the small and medium scale businesses and expresses a deep conviction that empowering small businesses is the easiest path in building the economy.

No doubt, an asset to the Abubakar Bello led management team at NEXIM.

According to her, increasing access to finance by SMEs is important because SMEs are the engine of economic development, they constitute the majority of business enterprises, and they are vital for employment generation and poverty alleviation.

“However, I believe SMEs especially those involved in Export that intend to access financing must have an effective knowledge of the types of financial institutions, the various products and services available , credit policies and procedures as well as alternative credit sources and financing options and as such she was joined on a discussion on Saturday 27th June and she spoke about NEXIM Banks Mandate as well as their Products and Services that are tailored to effectively grow non oil export in Nigeria with emphasis on Agribusiness Development.

As she executes her business development engagements, one noticeable thing about her is that she does not engage in publicity stunt. Many efforts at projecting her private and public services are often rebuffed preferring to be anonymous.

This independent lady is a reserved personality and a rising leader who has shown capacity with the few assignments she has been given and perhaps driven by the powerful words from Chinonye J. Chidolue, which she enjoys quoting :“Be the one to stand out in the crowd, Be the one to go where they’d rather not.
Beautiful things don’t beg for a chance to glow
They throw out their lights and just shine out loud!”
In all things I can boldly Say, Lord I thank you for your Grace & Loving Kindness.

Hon. Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete possesses significant experience in public policy design and implementation, international development and general administration, public-private partnership management, business development and export financing and these experiences is reflecting on her engagements with both the public and private sector.

Politically, she is a collosus and her party, the All Progressives Congress has shown faith in her abilities to make meaningful and significant contributions to the growth of the party. Little wonder why she is the only female in the recently inaugurated caretaker committee that would steer the ship of the party in preparation for the convention that would produce substantive excos.

Her love for PMB and the party is unmatched and through her NGO, has empowered many indigent students in Delta State helping them to achieve their academic dreams.

Stella Okotete and her ilks are the present and future of the APC and the country at large and should be encouraged to build on their capacities.

Her stint in Delta State between 2011 and 2015, as a focal person for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Delta State also prepared her for her current assignments.

She provided leadership in establishing and executing programs with agency groups to ensure that the goals as well as the targets of the ‘United Nations Millennium Declaration’ were met.

Stella and her team ably led by the Managing Director, Abubakar A Bello, have continued to develop sustainable growth initiatives for the nation’s non-oil export sector and remains steadfast in championing the course of the diversification agenda of President Buhari.

Justice, a public affairs analyst wrote from Lagos.