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Non-Oil Exporters Decry Poor Implementation of EEG

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NEPC

The continued decline in the non-oil export is due to the poor implementation of the Export Expansion Grant scheme by the Federal Government, non-oil sector exporters have said.

According to them, Nigeria’s non-oil exports decreased from $3bn in 2013 to $1.6bn in 2015 as a result of the poor implementation of the EEG since 2010.

The Executive Secretary, Organised Private Sector Exporters Association, Mr. Jaiyeola Olarewaju, stated that the decreasing trend in non-oil export would persist in 2016, judging by the available information.

Olarewaju, who spoke to journalists in Abuja on Friday, said, “According to a comprehensive Impact Assessment Report prepared by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and released in May 2016, the decline in non-oil export is chiefly attributed to the disruption in the implementation of the EEG scheme since 2010.

“Due to the non-acceptance of the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate, an instrument through which the grant is disbursed, a backlog of N123bn of unutilised NDCC’s has piled up. The exporters were paralysed by the backlog and had no option but to scale down exports which bore a stark reflection on the country’s non-oil export performance since 2014.”

He stated that Nigeria’s non-oil export sector was still in its infancy and came into mainstream in the last 10 years due to the policies that were put in place that encouraged the sector to invest in agricultural supply chains, export processing factories and overseas marketing.

Nigeria’s export basket comprises agro-allied commodities such as cocoa, cashew, cotton, sesame seeds, rubber, finished leather, tobacco, textiles, processed marine products, footwear and plastics.

The EU is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, accounting for about 40 per cent of the market share, followed by Asia and ECOWAS, accounting for 25 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

Olarewaju stated that for the past two years, exporters in Nigeria had been sitting on a backlog of over N100bn worth of unutilised export certificates issued under the seal of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He said, “These are sovereign instruments and the government should honour its financial commitments as per extant law. It is unfair that some exporters were issued the certificates for exports made till 2013 whereas many others who had submitted their applications remain outstanding for no fault of theirs.

“This is part of the backlog lying with NEPC. After all, government policy is not based on first come first served. By any principle of fairness and justice, all pending applications for the EEG on account of exports made till 2013 should be treated by the Federal Ministry of Finance.”

According to the executive secretary, most developing countries give incentives to boost their exports.

Olarewaju said, “China, the world’s largest exporter, increased the export tax rebates in 2015 to check decline in exports. India provides a package of incentives to its exporters through its five-year foreign trade policy. Nigerian manufacturers need the EEG to mitigate the negative impact of infrastructural and other cost disadvantages.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Appointments

Union Bank Announces the Appointment of Aisha Abubakar as Independent Non-Executive Director

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Union bank - Investors King

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) has announced a change to the membership of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Ms. Aisha Abubakar as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 9th September 2021, following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ms. Abubakar joins the Board of Union Bank following her tenure as Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development from 2018 to 2019. Prior to this, she also served as the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment between 2015 and 2018. At the start of her career, Ms. Abubakar worked at Continental Merchant Bank Ltd., African Development Bank and African International Bank.

She is an accomplished public sector administrator with over three decades of professional experience in Public Service and Pension Administration, Investment Banking, SME Finance/Rural Enterprise Development and Micro-Credit Administration.

Ms. Abubakar is a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK).

Commenting on the addition to the Board, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Union Bank’s Board Chair said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. She brings many years of robust experience which will be invaluable in supporting our efforts to steer the Bank forward and deliver on our strategic objectives.”

Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “I am pleased to welcome our new Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. We look forward to drawing from her wealth of experience and fresh perspectives as we continue to execute our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.”

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AfDB Approves $50M Trade Finance Deal with Standard Chartered Bank

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The African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) for StandardChartered Bank.

This was contained in a statement titled ‘African Development Bank approves a $50m Multinational Trade Finance Risk Participation Agreement facility for Standard Chartered Bank’ published on the bank’s website on Wednesday.

The statement said, “The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement facility between the African Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.”

The essence of this agreement is to promote intra-Africa trade, ensure regional integration and lessen the trade finance gap in Africa.

“The agreement is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa, in line with implementation aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”

The bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, stated that “We are excited about finalising this facility with Standard Chartered Bank as it offers us the flexibility to use our strong AAA-rated risk-bearing capacity to increase access to trade finance and boost intra/extra-African trade on the continent, in support of the AfCFTA.

“This partnership is expected to catalyze more than $600m in value of trade finance transactions across multi-sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and energy over the next three years.”

Director-General of the bank’s Southern Africa region, Leila Mokadem, was quoted to have said, “The advent of COVID-19, coupled with stringent regulatory/capital requirements and Know Your Customer compliance enforcement, has seen many global banks reduce their correspondent banking relationships in Africa, while some are exiting the market altogether.

“There is, therefore, an urgent need for financing to reenergise Africa’s trade, which requires more participation of institutions like the African Development Bank.”

The parties in the agreement are expected to share the default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African Issuing Banks and indemnified by Standard Chartered Bank.

Beneficiaries of this facility are issuing banks in Africa with the ability to grow their trade finance business has been constrained by inadequate trade confirmation lines from international banks.

Other beneficiaries are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and domestic firms which rely on these issuing banks to fulfill their trade finance commitments.

The RPA facility is aligned with the AfDB’s High 5 priority goals which are: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

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SMEs

Standard Chartered Launches Flexible ‘Smart Business Loan’ Product To Support SMEs

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Standard Chartered Nigeria - Investors King

Standard Chartered on Wednesday launched its Smart Business Loan (SBL) product to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria.

David Idoru, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, of the bank in Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that SBL was an unsecured installment/term loan available to SME clients within key target sectors.

“Qualified SMEs would be able to access up to N20million loan, without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase asset, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.

“This loan was designed to help SMEs meet their short to medium-term needs.

“As a Bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” he said.

Idoru said that the bank was constantly looking for ways to ensure SMEs get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive, adding that prior to the product launch, clients were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank, but SBL had been designed to provide the necessary flexibility to the clients.

“It is accessible to new and existing clients of the Bank with no waiting period, including small and medium scale organisations, who can access up to N20million in loans without collateral for a maximum tenure of two years,” he said.

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