02 February 2016, Abuja – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday approved a N300 billion export stimulation fund for the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
The bank’s Managing Director, Robert Onya said during a visit of the Hon. Jones Onyereri- headed House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, that the bank also got additional N50 billion from the CBN for rediscounting and refinancing of loans obtained by investors from commercial banks, with a one year tenor.
Briefing the committee members on the activities of the bank over the past five years, the NEXIM chief noted that most of the foreign loans obtained are yet to be utilised due to the 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 (AfDB) facility obtained in 2011 for financing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), because of delay in obtaining approval for Sovereign Guarantee, adding that the Board was dissolved while they were waiting for customers.
Onya also said 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 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 have secured multi-million dollar off-take to export gold to China.
He said Loratt Minerals Limited, Gusau in Zamfara State secured take-off loans valued at $5 million and Issh-Ass Limited, Sokoto got loan worth N100 million, adding that the project is expected to commence by March this year.
According to him, the bank has generated income totaling N5.6 billion in four years, from its initial N15. 5 billion investment portfolio.
Hon. Onyerieri urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the board of NEXIM bank so the bank could disburse the un-utilised funds available which require the board’s approval.
- The Nation