Thursday, 28th September 2023

NEXIM, Fidelity Bank target new five million MSMEs for exports

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
29 June 2023   |   5:24 am
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) is collaborating with Fidelity Bank to increase the capacity of five million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) exporters in the non-oil sector.


The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) is collaborating with Fidelity Bank to increase the capacity of five million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) exporters in the non-oil sector.

NEXIM said the move is in line with the overall objective of promoting export diversification efforts of the Federal Government. The Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fidelity Bank, said NEXIM had earlier developed an online platform – the Nigerian Export Academy (NEXA) – which offers free courses to exporters and SMEs but is now inviting partners with a similar strategic focus to join the initiative by sponsoring courses and bringing more beneficiaries on the platform for increased effectiveness.

He explained that in meeting its trade facilitation role as an export development bank of Nigeria, it used to do quarterly exporter enlightenment programmes across the country, which has not delivered the expected outcome.

“We found out that because of the situation, we found ourselves as a country and the need to diversify quickly, these export enlightenment programmes were not efficient. So, in our engagement with our partners and other strategic partners like Sapphital Academy, we thought of better ways in which we can reach out to all stakeholders of exporters and those involved in the export value chain.
We then came up with the idea that since everybody has a phone or other technological devices they can use, why don’t we adopt an online training portal as well as a capacity-building portal to train SMEs and exporters on the new processes that can enhance their export business? That was how NEXA was birthed,” he stated.

The NEXIM bank chief revealed that NEXA serves as a platform where exporters can meet, and exchange ideas on innovations and international market needs to boost Nigeria’s exports.

Bello maintained that collaborating with Fidelity Bank is fulfilling working with strategic partners and their customers who want to get up-to-date information on processes and procedures in the export trade.

He added: “We all know that Fidelity Bank has had a lot of engagement themselves in trying to bring up awareness and build capacity for exporters both local and international. Given your engagement and involvement with NEXIM Bank, it is no surprise that you are the first strategic partner of NEXA.”

Established in 2021 as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, Bello said over 4,400 participants and another 500 have had various types of training and enlightenment on the platform, while 500 certificates have been issued to trainees so far.

However, he admitted that the project is still in its build-up stage and that it has not reached its destination yet. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, urged Nigerian exporters to adhere strictly to approved fertilisers for their produce.

Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe said Shea butter producers are now making waves across the world owing to the high standard of their products while revealing that conversations are ongoing with big stores such as Tesco and Saintsbury on the standard and packaging they want.

“Another big break now is by bean exporters who are not able to play on the global stage. They have met the required standards which have opened the door of opportunities for them to export on a large scale across Europe,” he said.