The activities of the National Export and Import Bank, NEXIM and its impact on the Nigerian economy can never go unnoticed. The strides by NEXIM towards the achievement of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan cannot be overlooked. The leadership of the bank under Roberts Orya has transformed the bank from a non-profit or equilibrium bank to profit making bank and also contributing to the growth of the economy.
Incredibly, within the year, like previous years under the current forward-looking management, the bank has continued to promote non-oil exports with the vision of diversifying the economic base of the country. NEXIM Bank contributes immensely towards the realization of President Jonathan’s transformation agenda. It has so far made available over N23.33 billion to Nigerian non-oil exporters, particularly the SMEs.
Within the year 2013, NEXIM has contributed to virtually every sector of the economy after it identified and assisted four potential subsectors for development. They are food and beverages, wood and wood products, domestic and industrial products, steel and processed alloy. Disbursements from the bank also extend to service sectors, covering the transportation and health industries.
It could be recall that when Roberts Orya took over in 2009, the bank was operating under a non-profit margin without a clear cut policy or risk management framework, as well as a good corporate governance policy. The bank now renders more financial support to non-oil exporters and ensures the re-establishment and creation of new alliances with multi-lateral agencies. The bank also engaged services of professional trainees both local and international trainees to enable its workers improve its service delivery. Thus there is no gainsaying that NEXIM now delivers its services within a considerably short time.
The management of the bank employs a risk management strategy and a good corporate governance framework and empowers its business advisory unit to assist prospective customers in preparing their documents properly. This goes a long way guiding the operation of the bank both in the present and the future. In this vein, small and medium scale business enterprises where not left out of the dividends of NEXIM bank. The bank was able to disburse more loans, particularly to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in Greenfield projects under the manufacturing, agro processing, solid minerals and services.
Another major issue which NEXIM is determined to solve is the trade barriers among nations which are gradually killing local producers. The Bank, through its Managing Director, Roberts Orya has reiterated its commitment to removing trade barriers by promoting commercial exchanges among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The borderless alliance would foster change by revealing trade inefficiencies throughout the region and pledged the commitment of the alliance to improving the operations and processes of the ECOWAS trade liberalization and road transit schemes. Thus ensure free flow of goods and services within and outside neighbouring countries. To achieve this, Nexim Bank has provided billions of Naira in lending to Nigerian export manufacturers with many of them carrying the “Proudly Nigerian” label on their products in the West African sub-regional market and global.
Apart from funding agro-processing export businesses, the Economic Confidential learnt that Nexim Bank has provided over N2 billion in early funding to help some commercial miners to develop their site in order to start operation. This came after the review of legal framework in the solid mineral sector.
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has put in place mechanism towards providing buyer-credit facilities to potential buyers of Nigerian non-oil products, as a way of boosting exports and deepening transactions with the nation’s trading partners.
The bank assists Nigerian businesses to fund acquisition of fixed productive machinery and equipment to boost production for domestic and export needs. It designated an export credit agency to assist exporters and local businesses expanding to overseas markets. The assistance is in form of direct credit, insurance and guarantee. The project has facilitated the expansion of several manufacturing industries in Nigeria whose outputs have increased tremendously. The multiplier effect of this initiative is the creation of more jobs and provision of quality products and services.
With the establishment of Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Industry Stimulation Loan Scheme (NCEILS) which Nexim Bank manages for the Federal Government, the bank has streamlined the process of access the fund to businesses across the entertainment value-chain including filming production, cinema operation, music recording, intellectual property development, recording studios, etc., as a revolving fund with repayment terms. This is a gesture widely commended by Nollywood practitioners and fans.
Its deliberate effort to make Nigeria a multi-economic nation, NEXIM Bank has collaborated with other relevant bodies including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Bank of Industry (BOI) among others to ensure a sustained drastic increase in the exportation of non-oil products.
It was not surprising that considering the feats of the bank within the year, the minister of finance and the supervising minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala endorsed the NEXIM bank and lauded its effort towards the achievement of a balanced economy. Speaking at the Board inauguration in Abuja on Friday August 23, 2013, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, noted that the Jonathan Administration remains committed to the task of transforming the Nigerian economy and expanding regional trade through the incorporation of the West African economic zone and declared that NEXIM is pivotal to achieving this vision.
Many players in the economic sector also agree that NEXIM Bank has proven its worth under the focused board and purposeful management through the provision of innovative services that have turned the bank’s fortunes around. As the official and sole Trade Policy Bank of the Federal Government of Nigeria, NEXIM Bank has provided financing, risk-bearing facilities, market information and value-added advisory services to businesses towards deepening export-oriented investments in the country’s non-oil sectors of manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals and services, for job creation and economic growth.