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Heritage Bank Highlights Potential in Non-oil Exports

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Heritage Bank Limited has identified major commodities that can boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings in the non-oil sector for the country.

Some of the export potential products as listed by the bank in the agriculture sector are: cocoa, cashew, groundnut, fish, horns, sesame seed, ginger, cassava and snails. Others include tobacco, coffee, cotton lint, rubber, among others. Under Vegetables and spices, the lender identified Bitter leaf, plantain flour, Ground melon, Ground Crayfish, Ground Maize among possible foreign exchange earners.

Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said farmers and exporters of agricultural produce should seek more knowledge in order to increase the quality and quantity of their products because export business involves dealings with other world players.

The bank chief who spoke at the 2016 Annual Conference organised by Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos recently said the 10-year tenor export stimulation facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at nine per cent interest rate is a laudable incentive for exporters.

According to him, although the lenders would want the economy to grow by lending to farmers and other productive sectors of the economy, farmers/borrowers/exporters on their part should know that banks want their monies back and that “there is need for competence, commitment and confidence in the process.”

Speaking on the topic: “Providing Finance for Exports: Expectation & Experience,” Sekibo said Nigeria can also export such manufactured Goods as: Cocoa cakes, butter, powder & liquor, detergents, Malt drinks Palm kernel cakes & oil, baby clothes, confectioneries, leather. In the category of handicraft, Sekibo noted that Nigeria can export Talking drums, Calabash, Wood carvings, Raffia products among others, not forgetting the ever flourishing Nollywood which is even being watched by Militants (like Gendam) in neighbouring countries.

Represented by the Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Project & Development Finance Department of Heritage Bank, Mr. Olugbenga Awe, Sekibo regretted that exporters from Nigeria are not competitive enough, such that some Nigerian exporters go to Cameroun to bring in products, blend them to Nigerian products so that they can export. For instance, Yams that are consumed in London are from Ghana, not Nigeria.

As a country, Nigeria cannot afford to continue going backward in terms of non-oil export he reiterated.

The banker therefore advised exporters to master the steps to getting funding for export. He said, the first step is to know the difference between funds required for financing the business between the commencement of the manufacturing or procuring process and the dispatch of the goods, known as pre-shipment finance; and that of post-shipment finance, which are funds required for financing the exporter between the dispatch of goods and the receipt of payment.

It should be recalled that in recognition of Heritage Bank’s commitment to promoting non-oil export business, the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) recently provided a $150 million funding support for the lender.

Afreximbank, a frontline African financial institution believes in the uniqueness of the business strategy of Heritage Bank especially the Small Growing Business focus of the bank which aligns with the founding mission of Afreximbank.

According to Sekibo, exporters should also know that banks look for certain criteria for financing.

“There must be history of previous performance in terms of volume of export handled in the past; Frequency of Export; Payment methods; Payment Terms; how Products are sourced and how risk are mitigated,” he said.

Banks according to him also look at seasonality of the products; product destination; transaction cycle and buyer’s payment history.

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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Segun Opeke is Polaris Bank Executive Director

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Polaris Bank Appoints Segun Opeke as Executive Director

Mr. Segun Opeke has been appointed as an Executive Director of Polaris Bank Limited, according to a statement issued by the bank.

The lender said the appointment was made by the bank’s Board of Directors and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

According to the statement, Mr. Opeke has over 26 years of hands-on work experience acquired from leading Nigerian commercial banks with over fifteen of these years in senior and executive management roles.

Until his appointment, Opeke was the Directorate Head, Lagos Business.

The Lagos Directorate under, his leadership, recorded outstanding growth and contributed significantly to the turnaround of the bank, evidenced by its impressive financial performance recorded in the 2019 financial year.

“Since the CBN intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank Plc in July 2016, Segun has played a prominent role in the Bank’s transformation initiatives and very instrumental to the several milestone achievements of the Bank.

“By this appointment, he is expected to strengthen the bank’s leadership aspirations in the industry leveraging his wealth of experience and contributing greatly to its ongoing corporate transformation programme,” it stated.

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Survival Fund: Here is FG’s Timetable for Registration as Portal Opens Today

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FG’s Timetable for Survival Fund as Registration Portal Opens Today

The registration portal for the Federal Government’s Survival Fund will be officially opened to prospective beneficiaries at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), Laolu Akande, the survival fund would help ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and self-employed individuals.

He said “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

On Sunday, the Federal Government released a statement detailing timetable for categories of businesses to register. According to the statement, educational institutions will be the first category of beneficiaries to register on the portal.

Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

“In order to ensure a seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.

“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday, September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.

“The portal will also be open to other categories of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday, September 28, 2020,” the statement said.

Federal Government, therefore, advised those whose businesses were impacted by COVID-19 to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.

The survival fund is a federal government’s conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in paying salaries and safegaurd jobs to prevent further increase in unemployment and cushion falling economic productivity.

For how to access survival fund clicks here

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How to Access Survival Fund Through Official Registration Portal

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Here is a Detail Break Down of How You Can Access MSMEs Survival Fund

You can now start registering for the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund instituted by the Federal Government to help small businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

To access survival fund registration portal log on to https://survivalfund.ng

According to Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), “Next week, we are starting the survival fund, which is a part of this plan. From next week, it will be available and people who are potential beneficiaries will be able to get more information on https://survivalfund.ng.”

He said from next week, “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

About 45 percent of beneficiaries of the program are expected to be female-owned businesses while 5 percent is allocated to persons with special needs.

The survival fund includes payroll support for three months, and a guaranteed offtake scheme among others, all under the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

The Federal Government plans to reach around 1.7 million individuals and businesses through the program.

How to Benefit from MSMEs Survival Fund.

To benefit from National MSMEs Survival Fund, your business must:

—Be Nigerian-owned
—Be CAC-registered
—Business owner must have a BVN
—Staff strength of not less than 10 for Payroll Support and 3 for GoS.

Eligibility for the survival fund Nigeria

To qualify for Survival Fund Nigeria, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. For employers of MSMEs
  • All the beneficiaries companies must be registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Must have staff capacity of not less than 3 persons,
  • All the eligible enterprises must be owned by a Nigerian and located in Nigeria.
  • Must have BVN.
  1. Self-Employed Individuals in the following categories
  • Service Providers in the transportation sector, i.e bus drivers, taxi drivers, ride share drivers (Uber, Bolt. etc) and Mechanics.
  • Artisans: Electricians, Plumbers, etc.

Application portal opening date

The portal will open on Monday, 21st September 2020

Survivalfund.ng Portal

The MSME Survival Fund registration portal is survivalfund.ng. Registration for the National MSMEs Survival Fund will begin on Monday, 21st September 2020.

MSME Survival Fund Registration Portal & Information.

Under the National Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, vulnerable registered businesses will be supported in meeting their payroll obligations of between N30,000 to N50,000 per employee to safeguard the jobs of a maximum of 10 employees over a 3-month period.

In addition to registered businesses, the National MSMEs Survival Fund will also cater to a second category of Nigerians: the Self-employed, including:

  • Service providers in the transportation sector, i.e. Bus/Taxi drivers, Rideshare drivers, Auto-Mechanics
  • Artisans (Electricians Plumbers etc).

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