In line with its drive to boost Nigeria’s non-oil exports, a high-powered delegation from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) led by the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr Abba Bello, Executive Director Corporate Services, Bala Bello, recently undertook a working visit/strategic engagement with some international development finance institutions.
Significant milestones during the visit include signing a Memorandum of Partnership (MoP) with the Saudi Export–Import Bank, which will involve collaborating in co-financing, club deals, syndication projects, the provision of buyer’s credit facilities to Nigerian institutions to purchase the goods and services, and financing for project development tied to Saudi Exports.
Both parties also agreed to seek opportunities to secure financial guarantees or letters of intent for creditworthy beneficiaries for either Saudi or Nigerian exporters or international buyers, for purchases or project financing/execution.
The NEXIM team also paid a working visit to Dr Mansur Muhtar, vice president of the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), represented by Anasse Alsami, the acting vice president and director general, Vice President’s Office.
Discussions during the meeting focused on promoting African Arab Trade, mutual sharing of information, capacity building, and the ISDB Reverse Linkage Policy. The parties also discussed how Nigeria could benefit from ISDB’s programmes, such as the “She Trade” and “Women Tech Stars” programmes.
The bank also held technical meetings with various institutions under the ISDB Group. This includes the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISFD) to discuss modalities on how the bank and Nigeria can benefit from the ISDB Guarantee Facility Fund and capacity-building programmes.
The bank also met with the chief operating officer of the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), who also doubles as the Acting MD of International Cooperation for the Development of The Private Sector (ICD), Nazeem Nordali, and other officials from both the ITFC and ICD.
During the meeting, the bank discussed progress on the $200 million ISDB line of financing for Nigeria through NEXIM.
Other discussion areas included opportunities for collaboration towards securing funding for port infrastructure in furtherance of the NEXIM Sealink project.
NEXIM also had an engagement with Global Partnership & Practices (GPP) officials, represented by the Director of Resilience & Climate Action, Syed Hussain Quadri, and Nabil Ghalleb, Director, Economic Empowerment, where it called for a partnership to promote SMEs in Nigeria.
The GPP agreed to support Nigerian entrepreneurs through some of its initiatives, such as “Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Adding Enterprises for Women (BRAVE),” under its “She Trade Programme,” which supports women in trade, as well as “Women Tech Stars,” which supports women in technology.
In his remarks, the NEXIM MD/CE said the working visit to Saudi Arabia promised to provide many benefits for the Nigerian economy and the non-oil export sector.
Bello said: “Besides the $200 million line of credit, which is already being processed, the bank hopes to secure additional credit lines and leverage the Guarantee Fund of the Islamic Development Bank.
“We also have the opportunity for capacity building, particularly in developing Islamic banking products, which will provide financial inclusion for some of our exporters, who hitherto, have not benefited from our regular banking products.”