NEXIM launches export facility for youth, women exporters in Kebbi
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has launched the Women and Youth Export Development Facility (WAYEF) for youths and women in Kebbi to promote the export of agro-commodities in the state.
Speaking during the launch in Kebbi, Abba Bello, managing director of NEXIM said that the facility was first launched in the state owing to the strong enthusiasm shown by its youths under the auspices of the Kebbi Youth Connect Initiative and recognition of the wide array of exportable products such as groundnuts, cotton, and sesame among others.
Bello said that women and youths account for over 60 percent of the country’s population and as such, these segments of the population can not be ignored by NEXIM.
He stated that NEXIM as the trade policy bank of Nigeria, whose mandate is to diversify the external sector of the Nigerian economy, create jobs and boost foreign exchange earnings from the non-oil export sector, needs to focus on the key segments of the population which in particular is the women and youth.
According to him, NEXIM has intervened significantly in key non-oil sectors that are high employers of women and youth such as shea, cashew, hibiscus, and ginger among others, where women and youth are involved in cleaning and packaging of products for export.
He further noted that by providing access to finance and other capacity-building initiatives, these groups of people can own their businesses and contribute more directly to job creation and economic diversification objectives of the federal government of Nigeria.
Bello specifically acknowledges and commended the investment drive in Kebbi by the administration of Abubakar Atiku Bagudu such as the rice revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for the production of biofuel and renewable energy.
Speaking also, Stella Okotete, executive director -business development of the bank, urged the women and youths to embrace the facility provided to improve their lots, noting that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to continuing the empowerment programmes.
She alluded to the fact that 49 percent of Kebbi’s state population is made up of women and youths and the need to encourage non-oil export across the agricultural value chains is the drive of the bank.