James Emejo in Abuja
The Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Yobe State Government to facilitate export-related industrialisation and attract investments that would utilise local resource endowments in the state.
The partnership is also aimed at creating sustainable economic development in the state as well as fulfil the Bank’s its mandate of promoting non-oil export development across the country.
At a ceremony in Abuja, Managing Director of the bank Mr. Abba Bello expressed its willingness to progress partnership opportunities with the state to drive the bank’s economic diversification efforts and to promote the development of exportable agricultural products in the state
In a statement by NEXIM’s Head, Strategy and Corporate Communications, Mr. Tayo Omidiji, the MD was quoted to have said the Bank had launched the Regional/State Export Development Fund whereby at least N1 billion had been earmarked per state towards developing at least one commodity of export significance in furtherance of the federal government’s objectives under the One State, One Product Programme, adding that the proposed partnership will also support jobs creation and economic development of the state.
The Executive Director (Business Development), NEXIM Bank, Stella Okotete, while presenting some of the bank’s products and initiatives reiterated the objectives of the State Export Development Programme, adding that the bank’s intervention is targeted at developing all aspects of the export value chain from production to processing, under its new philosophy of PAVE, which stands for Produce, Add Value and Export.
She further noted that the bank had observed the great potentials of the state in the production of some agricultural commodities particularly Sesame seed and Gum Arabic and that NEXIM’s objective is to work with the state towards developing related industries, particularly for the export market, particularly against the background of the increased opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
However, the state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Barma Shettima, on behalf of the state governor, expressed the government’s pleasure to collaborate with NEXIM Bank, noting that the state had comparative advantage in numerous agro-allied products and also has vast deposits of premium quality solid minerals out of which the government had identified sesame seed and gypsum for immediate development and value addition for export.
The parties however, agreed to take immediate steps to operationalize the partnership towards achieving the envisaged benefits.