The reappointment of Abba Bello as the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) did not come as a surprise to stakeholders of the financial industry.
This is so because under his watch, there were many transformations that held people spellbound about the workings in the bank, part of which is the ongoing efforts of the bank to boost trade across Africa through its sea transportation and logistics company becoming operational. A lofty idea, many have applauded.Abba Bello, has strategically placed the bank on different partnerships that will boost the productivity of the bank he supervises, to ensure that trade opens up across African countries. The company which is christened sealink company is expected to raise the ante in trading across Africa.This is one thing the company could contribute to the economy.
There are enormous potentials in the venture and one of the biggest aside from the creation of jobs that comes automatically to the maritime industry and other sectors, is mining.Commending his unequal and sterling performance at NEXIM, President Buhari through the Honourable Minister of Finance, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, stated that Abba Bello and his team has performed incredibly well, with evidence to show for it.The statement reads in part: “Section 11(4) of the NEXIM Bank Act specifies that the Managing Director and the Executive Directors shall hold office for a period of five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of five years. “Accordingly, as the expiration of the first term drew near, it became necessary to appraise their performance since assumption of duties across the core mandate areas of the bank for the purpose of their re-appointment or otherwise.“The outcome of the appraisal revealed that the current management team with the support of the board has performed as well as exemplified by key achievements. Evidently, during his previous term in office, the operating profit of the bank, previously in the negative (N8.030billion) at the inception of the current management, has increased to N3.825billion in 2021, and there is an improvement in returns on capital earnings from -15.31 in 2016 to 2.72 in 2021.
There is a reduction in non-performing loans from 94% in 2017 to 29% as at December, 2021, and there is an increase in the total assets of the bank by approximately N136.132billion or about 222% from inception of the current management in 2017 to 31st December, 2021. Under his leadership, there is an enhanced liquidity position of the bank through additional funding totallingN103.755billion from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), N3.936billion from Federal Ministry of Finance, US$50million from the Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) and US$25million from the African Export-Import Bank.NEXIM under Bello’s supervision, has also made high growth in recoveries from N40.780 million in 2016, preceding the current management to an annual average recovery of N1.243billion between 2017 and 2020 and a total collection of N11.903billion for the five-year period. The bank has made the disbursement of a total sum of N144 Billion in loans to export-oriented entities in the non-oil sector while accounting for approximately US$375million as export proceeds within the period under review. “The NEXIM bank has been ranked among the best three Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and best five public institutions surveyed based on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Anti-corruption Assessment Criteria.The Minister concluded, “In view of all the achievements, the current executive management team as constituted has turned around the fortunes of the bank and re-positioned it on the path of prosperity towards a better realisation of its mandate.” Having foresight, Bello believes that today mining contributes only three percent to the GDP and while there are challenges, one of the things stopping the development of that industry is the evacuation of the minerals, many of them are heavy minerals and we don’t have the logistics capacity to move them to the ports for evacuation.
However, most of the mineral resources are within the central area and the river cuts across and we think that by operationalising the sealink consortium, one of the biggest beneficiaries will be the mining sectors; jobs will be created, and additional revenue.Judging by his energy and zest in his first term, one can not but wish Mr. Abba Bello another incredible performance in office, as he journeys through his second term majestically.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the Editorial team of TheScript Newspaper