By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has charged the Management of the Nigeria – Export Import Bank (NEXIM), to redouble its efforts towards the realization of government policy objectives in the areas of economic diversification and job creation.
The Minister made the charge while inaugurating the Executive Management of Nigeria Export – Import Bank (NEXIM), in her office in Abuja.
She stated that prior to their re-appointment by the President “the bank had been confronted with a myriad of challenges, including high volume of non – performing loans, inadequate capitalization, paucity of operational funds and loss of focus on core mandate which limited its performance”.
Mrs. Ahmed noted that it was heartwarming that under the stewardship in the team in their first term, the bank had witnessed a complete turnaround in all its operational and financial indices and was now on the path of growth with a healthy ‘balance sheet’.
The Minister further stated that the bank “lso recovered from a loss position of N8bn in 2016 to sustained profitability, reaching N4.1bn in 2021, while over N12bn has been recovered in non- performing loans”.
Mrs Ahmed specifically commended the Board and Management of NEXIM Bank in supporting government’s policy on job creation by attracting concessional funds into the export sector through strategic partnership as exemplified by her collaboration with CBN to manage the N500bn Non –Oil Export Stimulation Facility and the N500bn Export Development Fund which has now been enhanced to N150bn owing to the excellent performance of the Fund, among many others.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Aliyu Ahmed stated that NEXIM Bank was established by government via Act No. 38 of 1991 as an export credit agency with equal share holding by Ministry of Finance Incorporated and Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
He noted that NEXIM’s mandate included the provision of export – credit guarantee and insurance facilities to her clients as well as provision of credit in local currency to her clients in support of export.
“The overriding objective of government in setting up NEXIM Bank was to make the bank a significant player in the Nigeria Non – Oil sector and other economic revitalization programme such as Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of government”, the Permanent Secretary stated.
Chronicling events leading to the inauguration, Mallam Ahmed recalled that towards the expiration of the first term of the board on April 20, 2022, the Ministry had undertaken a review of the board’s performance and recommended the renewal of their term which was upheld by Mr. President.
Responding, the Managing Director/ CEO, Abba Bello, thanked Mr. President and the Ministry for finding them worthy for another term and pledged the support of the Board and Management of the Bank in striving to surpass government’s expectation.
Those inaugurated were, Mr Abba Bello, Managing Director/CEO; Dr Bala Bello – Executive Director, Corporate Services
and Hon. Stella Okotete, Exec. Director, Business Development