Bank chief lists Nigeria’s export potentials

Bank chief lists Nigeria’s export potentials

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Heritage Bank Limited has identified major commodities that can boost foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.
Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Limited, Ifie Sekibo while speaking at the annual conference of the Finance Correspondent Association of Nigeria recently in Lagos said, it is necessary as the Federal Government intensifies efforts to boost non-oil export revenues as some of the export potential products include cocoa, cashew, groundnut, fish, horns, sesame seed, ginger, cassava and snails among others.
Sekibo urged farmers and exporters of agricultural produce to seek more knowledge in order to increase the quality and quantity of their products because export business involves dealings with other world players.
The bank CEO said the 10-year tenor export stimulation facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria at 9 per cent interest rate is a laudable incentive for exporters.
According to him, although the lenders would want the economy to grow by lending to farmers and other productive sectors of the economy, farmers/borrowers/exporters on their part should know that banks want their monies back and that “there is need for competence, commitment and confidence in the process.”
Speaking on the topic: “Providing Finance for Exports: Expectation & Experience,” Sekibo said Nigeria can also export such manufactured goods as: Cocoa cakes, butter, powder & liquor, detergents, Malt drinks Palm kernel cakes & oil, baby clothes, confectioneries, leather. In the category of handicraft, Sekibo noted that Nigeria can export Talking drums, Calabash, Wood carvings, Raffia products among others, not forgetting the ever flourishing Nollywood which is even being watched by militants (like Gendam) in neighboring countries.
Represented by Olugbenga Awe, Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Project & Development Finance Department of Heritage Bank, Sekibo regretted that exporters from Nigeria are not competitive enough, such that some Nigerian exporters go to Cameroun to bring in products, blend them to Nigerian products so that they can export. For instance, Yams that are consumed in London are from Ghana, not Nigeria.
As a country, Nigeria cannot afford to continue going backward in terms of non-oil export, he reiterated. The banker therefore advised exporters to master the steps to getting fund for export.
He said, the first step is to know the difference between funds required for financing the business, between the commencement of the manufacturing or procuring process, and the dispatch of the goods, known as pre-shipment finance; and that of post-shipment finance, which are funds required for financing the exporter between the dispatch of goods and the receipt of payment.
It should be recalled that in recognition of Heritage Bank’s commitment to promoting non-oil export business, the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) recently provided a $150 million funding support for the lender.
Afreximbank, a frontline African financial institution believes in the uniqueness of the business strategy of Heritage Bank especially the small growing business focus of the bank which aligns with the founding mission of Afreximbank.

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