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Govt, exporters seek leeway to N550b financing scheme’s implementation





• Commercial banks’ exposure to sector drops to N200b
• Exporters want outstanding EEG claims to be refinanced under new facility

To avert failure of the intervention schemes created to boost non-oil export in the country as a result of poor implementation and lack of stakeholder engagement, non-oil exporters have sought collaboration with the Federal Government on measures to ensure that the facilities achieve the objectives for which they were designed.

Indeed, the Federal government had earlier in the year created two export financing programmes— a N50 billion Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (RRF) and a N500 billion Non-oil Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) aimed at improving non-oil export in the country by providing a pool of funds for commercial banks to access as loans to the sector.

According to the non-oil exporters, while the move by the Federal Government is commendable, there is need for government to engage stakeholders on how to embrace the schemes considering unfavourable disposition of commercial banks to the sector.

Specifically, the non-oil exporters stated that exposure of commercial banks to the sector has dwindled N850 billion in 2008 to less than N200 billion presently, thus necessitating government’s intervention.

The non-oil exporters, under the aegis of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export promotion Group (MANEG), the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and other members of the organised private sector urged government to settle outstanding liabilities, especially in relation to the Export expansion Grant (EEG) scheme.

The stakeholders charged government to urge financial institutions to accept the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificates (NDCCs) as collaterals under the refinancing scheme so that ailing industrial firms, especially those involved in value-addition can be revived.

Chairman, MANEG, Tunde Oyelola said: “As part of our efforts to promote non-oil export, MANEG has written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministries of Finance, Budget, Industry, Trade and Investment, suggesting that, since the special intervention fund is earmarked to boost the non-oil export sector, exporters who have Negotiable Duty Credit Certificates (NDCCs) should be allowed to use their NDCCs as collateral to access the loan at nine per cent lending rate as declared by the CBN.

“Furthermore, a window should be created through the CBN intervention funds, to accommodate our members who have borrowed from their banks earlier, so that they can benefit from the scheme as this will go a long way in advancing the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government”.

Technical Adviser to the Managing Director, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Hope Yongo, while explaining the processes involved in accessing the scheme noted that the two categories of intervention schemes seek to expand export businesses in the country.

According to him, while the Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (RRF) seeks to liquefy the export credit portfolios of deposit money banks under a 360-day tenor and discount of six per cent on transaction specific exports, the Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) will address challenges of declining funding and low level of loans to exporters despite general credit growth in the economy.

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