By Dipo Olowookere
A funding package aimed to expand small businesses in the non-export industry in Nigeria has been provided by Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) Bank.
However, the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) must be owned and operated by women and youths, as it is one of the conditions.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the lender disclosed that the total value of the credit facility is N10 billion and it would be given at 5 per cent in the first year and 9 per cent in the subsequent years.
NEXIM Bank further disclosed in the statement obtained by Business Post that the loan is under its Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF) initiative launched “to boost the non-oil exports.”
“The WAYEF aims to increase funding to indigenous women and youths towards broadening the export basket and facilitating regional industrialisation for value-addition.
“The aim is also to support women and youths towards upscaling and expanding export capacities,” the statement explained.
The financial institution noted that, “The facility would be disbursed to small and medium entrepreneurs at a 5 per cent interest rate in the first year of the programme and a 9 per cent interest rate in the subsequent years.”
“The eligibility criteria include duly-registered export-oriented-SMEs in Nigeria with women and youths as promoters, a structured organisation with the mandate to empower women and youths along the export value chain or a registered export-oriented cooperative society,” it explained.
NEXIM Bank was established by Act 38 of 1991 as an Export Credit Agency (ECA) with a share capital of N50 billion held equally by the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The bank was created to replace the Nigerian Export Credit Guarantee & Insurance Corporation earlier set up under Act 15 of 1988.
Its key functions are to provide export credit guarantee and export credit insurance facilities to its clients, provide credit in local currency in support of exports, establish and manage funds connected with exports and then maintain foreign exchange revolving fund for lending to exporters who need to import foreign inputs to facilitate export production.
It also has the mandate to make available domestic credit insurance where such a facility is likely to assist exports and maintain a trade information system in support of the export business.
According to details on its website, NEXIM Bank presently provides short and medium-term loans to Nigerian exporters. It also provides short term guarantees for loans granted by Nigerian banks to exporters as well as credit insurance against political and commercial risks in the event of non-payment by foreign buyers.
The bank is also the government’s national guarantor under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Inter-state Road Transit programme.
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