Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has stated that it has provided N12 billion in lending to Nigerian export manufacturers, many of who put the “Proudly Nigerian” label on their products in the West African sub-regional market and globally.
The bank also said that it has funded agro-processing export enterprises to the tune of N6.6 billion in the period August 2009 to April 2013,
Managing Director of the Bank, Roberts Orya, who stated this in Abuja, said agriculture alone contributes over 40 per cent to GDP with investment opportunities in cash crops like cocoa, rubber, cashew, oil palm, gum arabic among others.
“The Nigerian government seeks to develop value-chains in high potential crops and other agriculture commodities, including tomatoes, soya beans, cotton, rice, maize and cassava. In the area of mineral resources, Nigeria has over 34 solid minerals in commercial quantities.”
Orya noted that “Nigeria is now more attractive as an investor destination with an increase in inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to $8.9 billion in 2011 from $4.9 billion in 2004 while total merchandise trade increased from $118.93 billion in 2010 to $153.1 billion in 2011.”
Lamenting the insignificant volume of trade between African nations, the Managing Director said the non-oil sector in Nigeria offers huge investment opportunities, saying that “Nigeria is a major producer of food and cash crops and the Nigerian government seeks to develop values chains particularly for value added products like tomato, soya bean, cotton, rice, Maize, cassava, leather and wood products.”
“With an annual food deficit growth of 3.4% reaching $22billion in 2011 according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Nigeria can contribute to food security in Africa,” he said.