By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
Governor Godwin Obaseki’s effort to industrialise Edo state has gotten a new boost as a Federal Government banking institution, the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank has thrown its weight behind the project with three funding windows running into N553 billion for the park’s development and building of local capacity to meet export standards.
The management of NEXIM Bank led by its Executive Director, Business Development, Hon. Stella Okotete, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital
The funding opportunities are a N500billion Export Stimulation Fund managed by NEXIM Bank in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a N50 billion State’s Export Development Fund, which the state government can access to encourage entrepreneurs to improve the quality of goods to meet international standard.
There is also a N3billion Export Development Fund available for capacity development for entrepreneurs in the non-oil sector.
Obaseki said his administration is keen on developing human capital to improve the state’s comparative advantage to produce economic goods to meet international standards.
“Nigeria will remain an import dependent country if effort is not made to improve the quality of goods produced to meet global standards. Effort must be made to produce goods that are competitive.”
He assured, “This administration will focus on reducing the cost of production and exportation by improving power supply and ease the means of transportation of goods and services.
“If goods are cheaper abroad, it will be better to import than export. There are lot of incentives offered by the Federal Government to support exportation. We will go beyond the rhetoric and implement strategies that will encourage export of quality products in a competitive market.
“The Benin Industrial park and the Gelegele Sea Port, when completed, will guarantee lower cost for goods to be exported through water transportation which is cost effective.”
Executive Director, Business Development, NEXIM Bank, Hon. Stella Okotete, said the NEXIM Bank team is in the state to showcase funding opportunities available through the bank to encourage exportation of non-crude oil products.
Okotete said, “NEXIM Bank is ready to partner with the state government to achieve the vision of developing the Benin Industrial Park project, improve human capacity and provide financial advisory services to entrepreneurs.”
“NEXIM Bank has N500 billion Export Stimulation Fund in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the N50 billion State’s Export Development Fund which the state government can access to encourage entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their goods to meet international standard,” she added.