Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), has revealed that over N13 billion of Federal Government’s credit intervention for export and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have not been accessed.
NEXIM, North West Regional Head, Waziri Albishir, made the revelation during a Non-oil Exporters Regional Dialogue, a United Kingdom Aid (UKAid) funded project, under Policy Development Facility II (PDF) at the weekend in Kano.
Waziri, who explained that the Federal Government had approved N7 billion loans through the bank, essentially for exporters in the North western states, regretted that only N1.2 billion had been accessed in the last 12 months
Besides, he pointed that the additional N1 billion also approved for each of the six states in the region still remain in the coffers of the bank.
The export credit agency however denied claims of stringent conditions attached to the facility, saying that NEXIM has not imposed more than a single digit interest on all its credit.
“Let me say that the Federal Government through the NEXIM Bank has lots of funds for exporters which are not accessed. Out of the N7 billion, only N1.2billion was accessed from Kano. Meaning that other states like Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Zamfara never made any attempt to access the loan.
“Another N6 billion made for the State Export Development Fund, with N1billion each for each state, no state government has ever make attempt to get the loan. We embarked on a series of awareness campaigns through several means. It is unfortunate that people don’t come for it.
“Some of the credits have spent more than a year; some six month even with single digit interest rate you don’t see anybody. What you will hear is the conditions attached are too difficult. But I will say: no it is not. We never imposed anything more than what banks demand. So, Federal Government is committed to assisting exporters and importers to grow the economy,” Waziri emphasized.
Speaking on the rationale behind the Non-oil Exporters Dialogue, Dr. Olumuyiwa Alaba, explained that the forum was initiated to empower exporters with needed skill and knowledge in export competitiveness, and enabling interface with policy regulators in the export industry.Alaba said the UKAid funded project, was meant to complement Federal Government’s efforts in promoting of non-oil export Nigeria.