NEXIM, Beloxxi to begin third phase of plant expansion
With the commissioning of Beloxxi’s expanded biscuit production plant in Agbara, Ogun State Thursday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abba Bello, says that both organisations were already at an advanced stage for a third plant for product packaging.
Addressing newsmen on the sidelines of the event, Bello commended Beloxxi for its focus and commitment to actualizing the just commissioned second phase, stating that the bank’s mandate “is to grow the non-oil export by participating in financing non-oil export.
He noted that “the dearth of biscuit manufacturing in Nigeria meant that most biscuits consumed in Nigeria is imported. So, NEXIM came in to support Beloxxi from the outset of the business, first for import substitution, and then to facilitate the export of Beloxxi biscuit.”
Though the company has existed for over 10 years, Bello disclosed that the bank’s financial contribution to its expansion was in the region of N1 billion, adding that “Beloxxi has even paid up the facility.
“We are having discussions on granting further enhancement and new facilities. That is how good the business is and that is why we will continue to support them.
“We are completely satisfied with what is going on here and wish this could be multiplied a thousand times across the length and breadth of this nation for creation of employment and value addition, as well as export from the same axis and manufacturing plant. That is what we are campaigning that we should produce, add value and export.”
According to him, “what we are doing when we export goods without adding values is that we export jobs along with the products, but when you have the full value chain, and Nigerians involved in the full value chain, you are creating employment and adding value for tax purposes and revenue generation, etc, and then export as well. There is nothing better than this.”
Though the bank has financed many other related companies, he noted that Beloxxi is one of the most successful portfolios, because it is producing, creating employment, generating foreign exchange, and loans are being paid, adding: “You can’t ask for anything more as a bank, and you have added value to the economy.
“Again, we want to see Beloxxi expand to its limits and to start exporting beyond the region to across Africa and into the larger world, because they are strong enough now to compete in the global market.”
Meanwhile, Bello disclosed that the company wants to go into the production of other things in their value chain, including packaging, which it presently out-sources but wants to put up a plant to package its biscuits in retail form, as well as the cartons, “because that is one of their biggest expenses now, and they can go into it.
“So, we are having discussions now, but a total commitment for that is yet to be established. We need to know some capacities that this expansion is bringing on board to know how much we need to invest in the packaging. That is the expansion we are talking about now.”
Similarly, he disclosed that the facilities being deployed in the export sector are largely for processing, adding that the products normally being exported have been grouped while efforts were on “to put processing plants across the country to process them into a higher level value before export” to reduce losses along the value chain.