Written by Sarah NEGEDU

NEXIM task SMEs on N550bn loan facilities

Eligible export-oriented Small and Medium Entrepreneurs in the South-East and Delta States of the country have been asked to access the N500billion Export Stimulation Facility, ESF, and the N50billion Export Development Fund domiciled with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank.

The Managing Director and CEO of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello, who made the call at a seminar, said that prompt access of the loan facilities will boost small business, create jobs, and contribute to the foreign exchange revenue earnings of the country.

Bello spoke at a recent seminar with the theme: ‘Leveraging NEXIM Bank Facilities to Unleash Your Export Potential’ organised by the bank and SME Centre in Enugu.

A statement from the bank explained that the facilities were made available to NEXIM Bank last December by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for lending at a maximum of 9percent interest rate. The funds were designed 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.

The head of NEXIM’s Enugu Regional Office, Mr. Chinedu Moghalu, who represented the MD, said the funds are made available to NEXIM by CBN at a time the bank had decentralized its operations to all the regions of the country for easier accessibility of its products and services to maximum impact.

He said, “NEXIM Bank is determined to ensure these funds achieve the desired impact of triggering non-oil export development, growth and economic progress in line with its mandate as the Trade Policy Bank of the Federal Government and the applicable CBN guidelines for the implementation of the facilities.

“The overall aim of the ESF and EDF is to lower the costs of Nigerian exporters so that their products can be priced at a level where they can compete with other products around the world.”

Moghalu urged eligible export-oriented companies in the Southeast and Delta States with permissible transactions under the schemes to participate in the funding scheme by submitting proposals for consideration through the financial institutions of their choice or directly to NEXIM Bank.

Meanwhile, the representative of Enugu State governor and Special Assistant on SME Development, Anayo Agu, noted that the programme has come at the right time.

“The opening of NEXIM Bank Regional Office for the Southeast and Delta States in Enugu, and the invitation to the SMEs to access affordable non-oil export facilities, will address the missing link in the efforts of various governments in the region to derive maximum benefits from their investments in the SME value chain, especially in agriculture and other non-oil sectors,” he stated.

The improved export financing for non-oil exporters is to enable them to upscale and expand their businesses and improve their competitiveness.

 

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