From Lawal Olanrewaju, Birnin Kebbi
Managing Director, Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abba Bello, has given reasons why Kebbi became the first state where Women and Youth Export Development Facility (WAYEF) was launched after the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Bello said the United Nations population projection for Nigeria in 2020 indicated that about 62 per cent of Nigerians are below 25 years, while over 50 per cent belong to the female gender, and that these segments of the population cannot 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,” he said.
Bello disclosed this, yesterday, in Birnin Kebbi.
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 recognition of the wide array of exportable products, including groundnuts, cotton, onions etc which are available in the state and could be harnessed by women and youths.
He said NEXIM was 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 non-oil export sector.
Bello specifically acknowledge 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.