As the lawmakers at the National Assembly working on a bill to further strengthen the operation and the capacity of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank Mr. Roberts U. Orya has presented a strategic framework to his Turkish counterpart aimed at deepening the already existing collaboration between the two EXIM Banks.
In a statement issued by Mr. Chinedu Moghalu of NEXIM’s Corporate Communication Department shortly after the meeting, the business visit to Turkey was borne out of the need to explore additional off-shore sources of financing to cater to the Bank’s rising profile of investors in the MASS sectors of Nigerian economy.
Joining Mr. Orya in the 1-day visit to Turk Eximbank were high level officials of the African Export Import Bank – AFREXIM Bank from Cairo, Egypt led by the Executive Vice President Finance, Administration and Banking Services, Mr. Denys Denya. Also, other business moguls from Nigeria’s private sector including Chief Sunny Odogwu, the Ide of Ahaba of The Odogwu Group of Companies, were part of the NEXIM delegation.
Receiving the team, Mr. Alaadin Metin, the Deputy General Manager of Türk Eximbank, expressed satisfaction that the NEXIM MD has shown good vision by rekindling the existing relationship between the two Exim Banks which commenced since 2010 but was given a renewed impetus after President Goodluck Jonathan took the initiative to encourage a more mutually beneficial commercial exchanges between Nigeria and Turkey during his official visit to Ankara, Turkey in February 2011 as the official guest of President Abdullah Gül.
Mr. Metin expressed optimism that the present discussion will yield the desired results in line with the already beneficial relationships between the two countries.
Going further, Mr. Orya reminded the Türk Eximbank officials that there is great economic potential between Turkey and Nigeria and that bilateral trade has reached more than a billion dollars as of June 2012. According to the NEXIM MD, Nigeria offers great opportunities toTurkish business in terms of investments in the non-oil sectors of her econmoy, especially in the service sector, namely tourism promotion, establishment of branded hotels, etc which he stressed have high potentials for job creation and foreign exchange earnings.
Responding, Mr. Metin emphasized that Türk Eximbank is a fully state-owned bank acting as the Turkish government’s major export incentive instrument in Turkey’s sustainable export strategy with the mandate to support foreign trade and Turkish contractors/investors operating overseas. Its main objectives are promoting Turkey’s exports through diversification of exported goods and services by increasing the share of Turkish exporters in international trade, finding new markets for traditional and non-traditional export goods and providing exporters and overseas contractors with support to increase their competitiveness and to ensure a risk-free environment in international markets.
As a means of aiding export development, like its Nigerian counterpart, the Türk Eximbank offers specialized financial services through a variety of credit, insurance and guarantee programs. The Türk Eximbank has a fully paid-up capital of 2billion Turkish lira or about $1.4b as at end of 2009.
Meanwhile a bill to amend the Nigerian Export -Import Bank (NEXIM) Decree No. 38 of 1991 passed through its second reading at the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The bill seeks to require the bank to prepare and forward to the National Assembly annual reports of its operations and finances.
Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Rep.Jones Onyereri said that the bill would enhance accountability in the bank's operations. `` The proposed amendment will further strengthen the bank in the spirit of good governance.``
Onyereri, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency, urged his colleagues to support the bill to strengthen the exports of Nigerian goods and services.
The lawmaker added that the amendment would make the bank to enhance the export position of the country. He added, “We have had issues in the past with NEXIM before the new management came on board. These issues bore on very huge loan portfolio. Amongst others, there was also lack of visibility of the bank. In our legislative agenda, our primary responsibility is to make sure that issues of the past do not recur. In other to forestall such reoccurrences, it became important that we should follow up with issues of intervention, loans and others.
“In order to do that, it is important that we get to the people who have got these loans to know what they have been able to do with the loans and if the loans are performing, to find out if there will be need for them to get more funds, and if they are not performing, to know whether to put more stringent methods to make sure they pay the loans because we don’t want issues of non-performing loans any more in this country.”
Onyereri pointed out that the committee would be looking at structure and issues of legislative oversight.
“We are also going to look at the issues of legal composition of the legal department. So we will be looking at a whole lot of issues,” he added.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Robert Orya, said there was the need to look at the prospect of trade growth in Africa and in Nigeria looking at the size of the economy.