The Executive Director, Business Development of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mrs Stella Okotete, has revealed that the bank is seeking partnership with Ondo state on cocoa projects and other commodity exporters to scale up export trade.
The Head, Strategy and Communications at NEXIM Bank, Mr. Tayo Omidiji, in a statement in Abuja, Wednesday disclosed that Okotete spoke when the bank’s management team visited business operators and major projects in Ondo State.
She said the visit was aimed at ensuring a collaboration that would facilitate export in the state.
While speaking, Okotete noted that cocoa was a leading non-oil export commodity from Nigeria and it was necessary to seek partnership with Ondo being a main cocoa-producing area.
She informed that currently, the country exports mainly raw cocoa beans but consumed much more than its revenue to import chocolates and other finished cocoa products, adding that NEXIM was eager to reverse the trend, and in the process, enhance jobs and advance export revenues.
She noted that the bank had started receiving applications under the N5OO billion Export Stimulation Facility, which it executed with the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that the funds had been created to provide long term facilities to exporters at single digit interest rate.
She informed that N1 billion of the N50 billion Export Development Fund was organised for the purpose of supporting Small and Medium Enterprises, operating along the export value chain, and added that about N3 billion had also been reserved under a special scheme programmed for women and youth.
Speaking on support for the Niger Delta Region, she disclosed that a Niger-Delta Development Fund had been established in conjunction with the Niger-Delta Development Commission, with a seed fund of N5 billion to encourage export-oriented projects.
Okotete revealed that while the bank’s management team was on a courtesy visit to the state, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, expressed his desire to support the revitalisation of ailing projects with strong market potential. It was against this backdrop that she urged exporters in Ondo State to take advantage of this fund, being the only Niger-Delta State in the Southwest region.
Recall that the N500 billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) and the N50 billion Export Development Fund (EDF) are managed by NEXIM Bank.
As part of the bank’s mandate to promote export trade, owners of Small and Medium-Scaled Enterprises (SMEs) in the export industry have been advised to take advantage of the N550 billion export facilities under the care of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to grow their businesses.
The amount was set aside to redress the declining export credit to SMEs and reposition the non-oil sector to increase its contribution to the country’s revenue generation and economic development.