The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a N300 billion export stimulation fund for the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Robert Onya, the Managing Director said Monday.
Onya, who gave the information during an oversight visit of the Hon. Jones Onyereri- headed House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency revealed that the bank also got additional sum of N50 billion from the CBN for rediscounting and refinancing of loans obtained by investors from commercial banks, with a one year tenure.
However, while briefing on the activities of the bank between 2010 and 2015, the NEXIM boss noted that most of the foreign loans obtained are yet to be utilised due to dissolution of the NEXIM board, and the non- constitution of a new one.
He said only $33 million was disbursed from the $200 million African Development Bank facility obtained in 2011 for financing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), because of delay in obtaining approval for Sovereign Guarantee, and that the Board was dissolved while they were waiting for customers.
Onya also said that only $23.1 million has so far been utilised from the additional $200 million obtained from African Export bank.
He said the bank has so far paid $10.7 million interest on the $200 million loan obtained from African Development Bank (AfDB) which is expected to expire by January 21, 2021, in spite of non-utilisation of the loan.
According to him, out of the $50 million approved in the first tranche, $8.6 million has been utilised while $11.9 million approved is yet to be accessed and disbursed.
Onya told the committee that the Bank’s single obligor is $3.6 billion, but the bank reduced it to $1.8 billion so as to make the facilities go round.
He said the Bank is making efforts to recover the non-performing loans prior-2010, which the CBN directed should be put into the Memorandum Account instead of it being written-off.
On the successes of the bank so far, he said the effort of the new administration to diversify the economy has started yielding positive results as two Nigerian companies secured multi-million dollar off-take to export of gold to China.
He said Loratt Minerals Limited, Gusau in Zamfara state secured take- off loans worth $5 million and Issh-Ass Limited, Sokoto got loan worth N100 million and that the project is expected to commence by March 2016.
According to him, the bank has generated income totaling N5.6 billion in four years, from the initial N15. 5 billion investment portfolio.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Jones Onyerieri urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Board of NEXIM bank, to allow the Bank disburse the un-utilised funds available which require the board’s approval.
The lawmaker while expressing satisfaction with the efforts of the bank urged it to expand its reach to farmers and entrepreneurs in the North-East and other parts of the country hitherto unreached to actualize the economic diversification policy of the Muhammadu Buhari- headed administration.