By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) says it has concluded plans to promote crops that have potential export value in Katsina State thereby creating more businesses and job opportunities for people.
The Managing-Director, NEXIM Bank, Mr Abba Bello, disclosed this when Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bello said that the initiative would significantly create a lot of job opportunities in the state.
According to him, the bank will be working with some potential exporters from Katsina State to ensure proper implementation of the processes.
“One of the reasons we chose to work with states is that we prefer to go down to the grassroots that is financing them from primary production to aggregation and finally export and we have been working on the process.
“We have identified the crops to process and export in Katsina State precisely sesame seeds and also to some extent hibiscus.
“Also, a cooperation has been signed between a group and a proposed aggregator who already have 1,800 hectares of land and signed up over 1,000 farmers that will process this season of sesame from Katsina State and we hope to see to the conclusion,” he said
The managing-director also said that the bank, having started working on the value chain, would identify a few Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that buy sesame seeds and supply.
“We have a programme which is in line with the Federal Government determination to bring people out of poverty.
“This is the reason why we have decided to go down the value chain and finance both micro and small enterprises that are in the value chain for export.
“Some have already started utilising our facilities and we are looking to do more in Katsina State,” he said.
He was also hopeful that the initiative would further support the economic empowerment in the state and the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, particularly with emphasis on bringing people out of poverty.
“So we will ensure that our funding gets to the very base of the value chain,” Bello added.
Masari, while speaking commended the management of the bank for identifying an export crops in the state, saying that “the state is developing 800 hectares of land for economic export.”
According to him, the government of Katsina State has already given a contract for the complete development of a 100 hectares.
“So part of what we are looking for here is processing and adding value, especially to agric products and other exportable products to the neighbouring countries.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NEXIM bank has mapped out N1 billion each to support non oil export products across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). (NAN)