The Abba Bello led executive management of the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has spent six impactful years in the saddle of power, initiating impactful policies that underpin the remarkable turnaround of the export bank.
Abba Bello and his Management Team has successfully steered NEXIM from the brink of insolvency to profitability in three years. From posting a loss of N8.03billion in 2016, another loss of N569m in 2017, the bank has reversed the trend to record consecutive profits of N1.09billion in 2018 and N2.03bn in 2019.
The volume of goods and services that a nation produces and sells to other countries impact the strength of its local economy. A strong export base promotes national self-reliance, creates jobs, ensures efficient resource allocation and capital formation for a country.
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank under Abba Bello has expended so much efforts to improve regional trade and promote bulk movement of commodities through the Nigerian waterways. This received a boost with the unveiling of navigational charts of the lower River Niger in Abuja.
The survey and charting, which was jointly undertaken by hydrographers of the Nigerian navy and Nigerian Inland Waterways Agency with financial support from NEXIM and Afreximbank, was meant to guarantee navigational safety of the lower River Niger channel to boost hinterland and coastal trade.
The managing director of NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, in his remarks, said the Nigeria Export–Import Bank, being a trade policy bank, had embarked on the deliberate policy initiative “to bridge maritime infrastructure gaps towards lowering logistics cost to foster trade with the promotion of the Regional Sealink Project. As a Special Purpose Vehicle under a public-private-partnership framework, Sealink essentially aims to enable the Bank to significantly broaden national export basket’’
Abba Bello and his team, has implemented strategic re-alignment of business focus, aggressive debt recovery drive to the execution of bold initiatives to bolster its impact on non-oil exports.
Indeed, the Abba Bello management team is breaking new ground and repositioning the bank as a catalyst for growing the country’s non-oil export market.
According to reports, NEXIM facilitated the historic breakthrough to open the country’s maritime industry. Early in 2919 NEXIM, in line with its target to develop inland waterways, boost maritime trade and enhance the volume of Nigeria’s exports, successfully facilitated the consummation of a tripartite pact between Sealink Consortium and the federal government.
The deal consolidates efforts to establish a regional shipping company through a public private partnership (PPP) that will see the increased use of Nigeria’s waterways for transporting goods. The execution of the partnership will promote trade and mitigate the transport and logistic challenges that have increased cost of trade transactions. It will also help relieve pressure on Nigerian roads, introduce cost efficiencies in transport logistics and enhance regional trade between Nigeria and other countries.
“The idea behind the MOU is to facilitate export of the solid minerals out of the country, building efficiencies in our sea transport system. SEALINK will serve in the evacuation of the raw materials from the hinterlands through the inland waterways. For us, this is a milestone. Providing effective logistics; providing diversification sources for the nation’s economy and creating jobs” Abba Bello, NEXIM MD/CE said.
NEXIM is also promoting export trading companies, in partnership with the export group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). The Abba led administration is currently working with other stakeholders to rebrand and retool the operations of prospective companies.
Equally important is that NEXIM bank, under Abba Bello, has introduced a State Export Development Programme. Through this programme, NEXIM is working with every state of the federation to develop at least one exportable commodity in furtherance of the government’s objective under One State One Product programme. The initiative is also targeted at promoting regional industrialization and poverty alleviation. Under the scheme, the bank has earmarked at least N1 Billion under favorable terms and conditions to each state of the federation for offer to the target beneficiaries, which are mostly SMES. The State Export Development Programme also includes an Aggregator scheme, whereby the Bank provides support to a large exporting company, who in turn could support a large number of farmers under an outgrower arrangement. This ensures that the bank supports the entire export value chain, particularly in the agricultural sector.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper