Following the need to sensitize stakeholders and the general public on its activities, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) organized an Exporter Enlightenment Programme for the South-South zone at the Dome Centre in Asaba, Delta State from Tuesday the 28th -Thursday the 30th of January, 2020. With the theme “Maximizing Export Potentials in the South-South Region for Economic Growth”, the forum which is a flagship event of the Bank is aimed at promoting non-oil export development in Nigeria through capacity building and dissemination of pertinent trade and market information among stakeholders and the key players in the export value chain.
The MD/CEO NEXIM, Mr. Abba Bello in his opening address stated that the South-south region is the economic capital of the country. He said beyond oil, the region also has huge agricultural and solid mineral resources as well as a thriving tourism sector, which could be harnessed towards contributing to the diversification objectives of the federal government of Nigeria and he therefore called for concerted efforts to harness these resources towards creating a well-diversified economy that is resilient in the wake of global economic shocks.
He further introduced the State Export Development Programme, an initiative of the Bank, which avails each state at least the sum of N1bn towards promoting regional industrialization and economic diversification and pledged the Bank’s commitment to work with stakeholders to boost the economic growth of the South-South region and develop the necessary partnerships to enhance access of entrepreneurs and exporters to the fund.
The host Governor, his Excellency Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa in his speech emphasized on the urgent need for governments in the Niger Delta region to work expeditiously towards diversifying the economies and maximizing the non-oil export potentials for accelerated economic development. On his part, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki made a call for economic diversification through investment in infrastructure, including roads, electricity, ICT and gas and stated the willingness of the state to partner with NEXIM Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria in addressing the problem of finance and expertise to grow small businesses.
At the core of NEXIM’s mandate to promote non-oil export development in Nigeria and drive regional trade given the enormous opportunities enshrined in the recent proposed commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which provides trading opportunities for our SMEs and positioning Nigeria to attract investments, particularly within the context of the regional and global value chains, the forum is aimed at creating the necessary awareness to highlight the economic potentials of individual states within Nigeria towards attracting investments, particularly into the non-oil export sectors.