Saturday, October 12, 2013

N12bn NEXIM funding provided for Nigerian export manufacturers

Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) said it has provided N12 billion in lending to Nigerian export manufacturers, many of who put the “Proudly Nigerian” label on their products in the West African sub-regional market and globally.

The bank also said that it has funded agro-processing export enterprises to the tune of N6.6 billion in the period August 2009 to April 2013, Speaking in Abuja, Managing Director of the Bank, Roberts Orya, said agriculture alone contributes over 40 per cent to GDP with investment opportunities in cash crops like cocoa, rubber, cashew, oil palm, gum arabic among others.

“The Nigerian government seeks to develop value-chains in high potential crops and other agriculture commodities, including tomatoes, soya beans, cotton, rice, maize and cassava. In the area of mineral resources, Nigeria has over 34 solid minerals in commercial quantities.

“Nigeria is now more attractive as an investor destination with an increase in inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to $8.9 billion in 2011 from $4.9 billion in 2004 while total merchandise trade increased from $118.93 billion in 2010 to $153.1 billion in 2011,” Orya said.

Lamenting the insignificant volume of trade between African nations, the Managing Director said the non-oil sector in Nigeria offers huge investment opportunities, saying that “Nigeria is a major producer of food and cash crops and the Nigerian government seeks to develop values chains particularly for value added products like tomato, soya bean, cotton, rice, Maize, cassava, leather and wood products.”

“With an annual food deficit growth of 3.4% reaching $22billion in 2011 according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Nigeria can contribute to food security in Africa,” he said.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Experts Decry Nigeria’s Poor Performance In Non-oil Export

International trade experts have lamented the country’s poor performance in the non-oil export segment of international trade, describing the scenario as deserving of emergency response from the government.

The experts who are members of an export round table noted the recent poor rating of Nigeria by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in terms of non-oil export, describing it as an unfortunate irony, considering Nigeria’s immense natural endowment in agriculture and solid minerals.

As a way of responding to the nation’s poor international trade performance, one of the leading organisations in the roundtable, Bende Export-Import Limited, announced its plan to empower over 1 million Nigerian exporters in the country by 2016.

The Managing Director, Bende Export-Import Limited, Mr. Benjamin Kalu, explained that Nigeria had been ranked very low in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ranking in terms of non-oil export.

He said the strategy to achieve the one million exporters target would involve an initiative, which he termed as train the trainers programme where new and existing exporters would be trained in order to help exporters access the international market.

“We are going to take this to the 36 states in the country because we believe Nigeria has a lot of resources to be exported to help us diversify from a mono-product economy to a more diversified economy,” he said.

According to him, the number of importers in the country outweighed the number of importers saying that, his company is working out modalities to strike a balance between the number of exporters and importers in the country.

He also stressed the need to incentivise the export market in the country maintaining that this will go a long way to encourage new and existing exporters in the nation.

“We need to keep incentivising the export market and the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) has a huge role to play in this regard. The EEG should more flexible and accessible. This is the only way to encourage small scale exporters,” he said.

He added that exporters in the country are still faced with numerous challenges while exporting their goods into the European markets stating that, it is as a result of this, Bende Export-Import limited is organising human capacity workshop to train new and existing exporters.

“At the moment, we export over 300 containers a month. We are also engaged in a tree planting exercise where anybody that cuts a tree, plants five trees back. This will help to prevent the deforestation and also protect our environment,” he said.

He pointed out that the aim of the company is to get new exporters by sharing free knowledge, sustain and mentor them in order to understand the rudiments involved in export activities.

“By doing this, we will ensure wealth distribution through job creation and these ones we have empowered today, will go back to employ more people and the nation grows,” he said.

He noted that before its intervention in the export industry, many exporters have fizzled out due to numerous challenges faced in export.

“We noticed that majority of the exporters do not know what export is all about. They venture into it without making adequate research. We are here to fetch the good ones and teach them the best way to go about export for a sustainable approach towards export,” he added.

He decried government’s lack of attention to the non-oil sector saying that the company is yet to receive any active support from the government despite its quest to work in line with the ministry of agriculture’s transformation agenda in terms of agricultural export.

“The private sectors must come in to bridge the gap between the suppliers, importers and exporters in this country. The export market needs to be incentivised for exporters to be motivated,” he said.

BENDE Export-Import Ltd is a recently registered Non Oil commodity Export Company with decades of experience in the industry derived through the partnership with SLOK Group of companies and her well established trading and management structure.

We are positioned to acquire the largest market share of the Nigerian commodity export business in no distant time, considering our available capacities, resources and comparative advantage.

To grow from a Mono-Product, Non-Oil Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Asset Company to a single National-multi-product, then to a multinational multi-product large export Global Market shares within the next five years.

We have employed structures, strategies, systems, skill packs, knowledge, experience, capacities, financial capabilities, people, technologies and physical assets to position BENDE Export-Import Limited as the most competitive new entrants into the Export market.

“Our energy is directed at the agricultural products’ sourcing, processing, storing, transporting, marketing and consulting on the export value chain.

Thinking globally, though beginning locally, geographical boundaries, both in sourcing and exporting, are seen as opportunities rather than limitations,” he said.