Ismail Adebayo in Birnin Kebbi
The Managing Director of Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abba Bello, has given reasons why Kebbi State became the first state where the women And Youth Export Development Facility (WAYEF) was launched after the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
According to Bello, the United Nations Population projection for Nigeria in 2020 indicated that about 62 per cent of Nigerians were below 25 years, while over 50 per cent belong to the female gender and as such, these segments of the population can, therefore, not be ignored by an interventionist agency like NEXIM “ hence our decision to establish the Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF) as a deliberate and targeted funding scheme to address the needs of these vulnerable groups.
The Managing Director disclosed this yesterday in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
He added that the decision to also launch the scheme in Kebbi was informed by the strong enthusiasm shown by youths in the state, under the auspices of the Kebbi Youth Connect Initiative and in recognition of the wide array of exportable products, including groundnuts, Cotton, Onions, which are available in the state and could be harnessed by women and youths.
NEXIM as the Trade Policy Bank of Nigeria, whose mandate is to diversify the external sector of the Nigerian economy towards increased jobs creation and foreign exchange earnings from the non-oil export sector, observed also, the unfolding dynamics of the Nigerian economic environment and the need for specific policy intervention to promote economic and social inclusion of key segments of the population, in particular the women and youth.
Bello specifically acknowledged and commended the investment drive in the State by the administration of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu like the Rice Revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for production of biofuel and renewable energy.
His words: “Your efforts in this direction have not only contributed to the significant increase in the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) but have also positively impacted the socio-economic indices particularly in the areas of jobs creation and sustainable development.”
NEXIM is the Trade Policy Bank of Nigeria, whose mandate is to diversify the external sector of the Nigerian economy towards increased jobs creation and foreign exchange earnings from the non-oil export sector.
NEXIM has intervened significantly in key non-oil sectors that are high employers of women and youth such as Shea, Cashew, Hibiscus and Ginger, where women and youth are involved in cleaning and packaging of products for export.
The Bank further noted that by providing access to finance and other capacity building initiatives, these groups of people can own their businesses and contribute more directly to jobs creation and economic diversification objectives of the federal government of Nigeria.
On her part, the Executive Director, Business Development of the Bank, Hon. Stella Okotete urged the women and youths to embrace the facility provided to improve their lots noting that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to continuing the empowerment programmes.
She alluded to the fact that 49 per cent of Kebbi’s population is made up of women and youths and the need to encourage non-oil export across the agricultural value chains is the drive of the bank.