Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, Mr. Abubakar Abba Bello, weekend, said that the Bank is on the verge of addressing dearths of bankable projects and increasing flow of funds to Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.
To achieve this, he stated that NEXIM is partnering with African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, to establish a Project
Preparation Fund, PPF, through which both institutions have agreed to raise $50million to support the pre-investment phase in a project preparation circle, adding that it is expected that the fund would address the dearth of
bankable projects and increase the flow of funds to SMEs.
He disclosed this at an enlightenment and engagement workshop on Export for SMEs in Kaduna on the sidelines of the Kaduna International Trade Fair.
In his remarks, Bello recognized the role of SMEs in cross border trade and the need.
to mainstream informal export activities, particularly within the context of the
African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), adding that the Bank has also established an SME desk to respond specifically to the needs of small businesses.
The bank chief added that under its trade facilitation role, particularly towards enhancing the competitiveness of Nigerian exporters in the regional market, it has continued to promote the Regional Sealink Project to bridge the maritime infrastructure gap thereby improving trade connectivity for coastal and hinterland trade.
The project is expected to boost access for Nigerian manufactured exports within the regional market, and solid minerals export globally.
Bello disclosed that NEXIM has retooled its operations over the past four years and is now better positioned to serve the people.
He said: “The Bank, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, is implementing the N500bn Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility and the N100bn Export Development Fund which we offer at single digit interest rate to support the production and export of goods and services.
“In addition to these, we have recently launched the Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF), which comes with special features to assist women and youth in the export value chain to become entrepreneurs and expand their businesses. WAYEF is also part of NEXIM’s affirmative action and has
been designed in furtherance of the social and economic inclusion programme of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Let me seize this opportunity to inform this
gathering that NEXIM is partnering with Afreximbank to establish a Project
Preparation Fund (PPF), through which both institutions have agreed to raise an
the initial amount of $50million dollars to support the pre-investment phase in a project preparation circle. It is expected that this fund will address the dearth of
bankable projects and increase the flow of funds to SMEs.”
On her part, the Executive Director of Business Development of the bank, Stella Okotete, stated that in line with the Federal Government’s policy of diversifying the economy, export plays a key role in income generation as well as job creation for the Nigerian people, hence the need to engage and interact with the SMEs and MSMEs in Kaduna state during the trade fair to inform them about the bank products and also engage them with advisory services to start thinking export because that is the new norm.