NEXIM MD, Mr Abba Bello
NEXIM MD, Mr Abba Bello

N68bn export fund disbursed to 68 beneficiaries, NEXIM bank says

NEWS DIGEST – The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) says it has disbursed N68.01 billion to 68 Nigerian entrepreneurs in the the last three years under its Export Development Fund.

The funds went to beneficiaries in the manufacturing, agriculture, solid minerals and oil and gas sectors of the economy, the bank said at a press briefing Thursday.

NEXIM is an export credit agency set up to drive the economy through trade finance, project finance, export market advisory services, treasury operations, guarantees, market information amongst other things.

The Central Bank of Nigeria released N50 billion to the bank in 2018 for the export development programme. The fund was later increased to N100 billion in December.

The managing director of the bank, Abba Bello, told reporters that the bank is also collaborating with the CBN to manage a N500 billion non-oil export stimulation facility.

The facility was introduced to provide long term funds to export oriented projects towards increasing value added exports.

Aside from the 68 beneficiaries, approvals totalling N30.86 billion are currently in the process of meeting pre-disbursement conditions, the bank said.

The bank has carried out the “processing of 227 application worth N159.27 billion and $37.67 million out of which N98.87 billion has been approved,” Mr. Bello said.

“So far, $182.31 million and €203,018.42, translating into N70.40 billion, have been received as export proceeds from projects that have repatriated their income, while others are yet to complete the transaction circle.”

The bank said its target for 2022 is to achieve a balance sheet size of at least N1.2 trillion.

Mr. Bello said the bank’s balance sheet grew from N67.73 million in April 2017 to N158.84 billion as at January 31, 2021.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the bank’s profit dropped to N1.28 billion in 2020 from N2.13 billion in 2019.

He said the bank has also done well in recovering its loans.

“Introduction of aggressive debt recovery and proactive loan work out measures leading to increase in overall recoveries from only N200 million in December 2016 to N4.76 billion and US$750,000 between January 2017 and January 2021. In addition, assets worth about N7 billion are currently up for sale.

“Continue efforts to clean up the balance sheet and improvement in risk management practices with new loans granted from 2018 performing 100 per cent, a major departure from the huge non-performing loans in the past,” he said.