The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has described the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) initiative aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs in the export sector as a positive step in the right direction.
The ESF was established to support the diversification of the economy away from oil and to expedite the growth and development of the non-oil export sector.
Speaking at the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) forum organised by Fidelity Bank in Lagos, the Acting Managing Director of NEXIM, Mr. Bashir Wali, said the aim of the initiative is to encourage entrepreneurs in the export sector to boost the foreign exchange earnings of the country from the non-oil export sector.
He said that access to funding of the export sector has been placed at 0.4 per cent of the total domestic private sector loan, hence the urgency and the need to come out with incentives to boost lending to entrepreneurs in the export sector.
“The N500 billion life line is important because looking at the potential of the export sector and what it could contribute to the economy or the foreign exchange earning of the country and you correlate it to the total domestic private sector loans from the commercial banking sector, 34 per cent is minute and I think this initiative is a step in the right direction,” he explained.
On the criteria for accessing the N500 billion loan, the NEXIM acting boss stated that the central bank, in collaboration with NEXIM, has tried to simplify the processes and also shorten the processing period, adding that it takes a period of 20 days between when it receives loan requests and recommendations from commercial banks to the time it is approved by CBN.
“There is a window from the time of processing with a commercial bank because the whole process is initiated by an entrepreneur with his own commercial bank. From the time the entrepreneur submits all the necessary requirements and the request from your commercial bank and it is processed, once it meets the billing and there is an exportable commodity and there is an off-taker with all the necessary criteria to satisfy the credit requirements and given commercial bank’s requirements are met, the bank will process and recommend the facility for approval by the CBN through NEXIM.”
Wali further urged entrepreneurs interested in accessing the loan to submit all the necessary documentations based on necessary guidelines so that the commercial banks can start processing and present to NEXIM immediately to enable consideration in good time.