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Fed Govt directs NEXIM bank to increase funding to critical sectors

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By Nduka Chiejina, (Assistant Editor), Abuja

The Federal Government has mandated the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to increase its funding to critical sectors.

Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed gave the directive in Abuja while inaugurating the two new non-executive directors of NEXIM – Mallam Kabiru Hassan and Mr. Ede O. Dafinone.

She urged NEXIM management to increase funding to boost productivity and exports  in agriculture, manufacturing and services.

The finance minister also urged NEXIM to promote  private sector investments in maritime logistics infrastructure.

According to her, the  main objective of NEXIM is to be  significant player in the non-oil export sector and  in the revitalisation programmes such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP).

The finance minister commended NEXIM for its   performance which has seen the bank return to profitability as well as reducing non-performing loans.

Hassan and Dafinone, she urged, should bring their experience in the private sector to NEXIM.

Hassan, an expert in commodity sourcing, trading and distribution, had a stint with Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.

Dafinone, also an expert in export and import, is the Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group and member, National Council of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, among others.

She stated: “I have no doubt that your selection and subsequent appointments were based on your track record of achievements. I dare say, NEXIM Bank has been given more impetus to succeed in achieving its mandates. As you are being inaugurated, I charge you to bring your vast wealth of experience garnered in the private sector to bear in the operations of NEXIM, while pledging the Ministry’s continued support to NEXIM in the discharge of its mandates.”

Managing Director of NEXIM bank, Mr. Abba Bello, thanked the Federal Government for appointing professionals with vast knowledge in the industry, stressing that with their  experience, they will add value to NEXIM.

He pledged that, though there is an enormous task of diversification, the management and board of the bank would do their best to justify the confidence of government in them.

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