The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Yobe Government on sustainable economic development in the state.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Abba Bello in a statement issued by Mr Tayo Omidiji, Head, Strategy and Corporate Communications said that part of its mandate was to promote non-oil export development in the country.
According to Bello, the MoU will facilitate export-related industrialisation and attract investments that will utilise local resource endowments in the state.
He expressed the willingness of NEXIM bank to make progress i partnership opportunities with the state government to drive the Bank’s economic diversification efforts and to promote the development of exportable agricultural products in the state.
He further explained that the Bank had inaugurated the Regional/State Export Development Fund, whereby, at least one billion naira had been earmarked per state towards developing at least one commodity of export significance.
According to him, the fund is in furtherance of the Federal Government’s objectives under the One State, One Product Programme.
He noted that the proposed partnership would also support job creation and economic development of the state.
Similarly, the Executive Director, (Business Development) of NEXIM bank, Ms Stella Okotete, while presenting some of the Bank’s products and initiatives, reiterated the objectives of the State Export Development Programme.
Okotete said that the Bank’s intervention was targeted at developing all aspects of the export value chain from production to processing, under its new philosophy of PAVE, which stands for Produce, Add Value and Export.
She noted that the Bank had observed the great potential of the state in the production of some agricultural commodities, particularly Sesame seed and Gum Arabic.
She said that NEXIM’s objective was to work with the state towards developing related industries for the export market, particularly against the background of the increased opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
In his response, Alhaji Barma Shettima, Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, on behalf of the Yobe State Government expressed the government’s pleasure to collaborate with NEXIM Bank for the development of the state.
Shettima noted that the state had comparative advantage in numerous agro-allied products and vast deposits of premium quality Solid Minerals, of which the government had identified Sesame Seed and Gypsum for immediate development and value addition for export.
He said that both parties would take immediate steps to operationalise the partnership toward achieving the envisaged benefits.