NEXIM Bank cites stellar performance, disproves ‘malicious’ allegation
NEXIM Bank said none of the loans under its Export Development Facility has gone bad, and that the export proceeds generated by the facility from 2019 to date amounted to $90.1 million and €80,000, both translating to N34.8 billion, from projects<
The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) has cited its stellar financial and nonfinancial performances and focus on financing Nigeria’s non-oil exports in disproving a most recent allegation of fraud against the management of the bank. In a statement sent to Financial Nigeria today, and signed by its management, NEXIM Bank said it has come under incessant attacks in a section of the media, but predominantly in the social media.
“Most recently, a report has been trending on the social media claiming that a petition has been forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for a probe of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello, over alleged corruption and mismanagement of the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (RRF), provided by the Federal Government,” said the bank, adding that the petition was attributed to a “faceless” organisation without a verifiable address.
The statement said the allegation and similar false accusations against the bank in recent times were malicious lies being perpetrated by people it said were not happy with the current progress of the bank and would rather prefer the state things were before the appointment of the new management to continue. It also said the individuals behind the spurious allegations may not be happy with the spirited efforts of the bank to recover the huge amount of bad loans, which were booked by the previous management, a large proportion of which was insider related.
“It is pertinent to note that… the fortunes of the Bank have remarkably improved, with profits of N2.03 billion achieved in 2019 and 1.09 billion in 2018,” NEXIM Bank said in the statement. “This was against a loss of N569 million in 2017 and a much bigger loss of N8.03 billion in 2016, which explains why the previous management could not produce an approved financial statement for three years, 2014 to 2016.”
The bank refuted the allegation that it diverted the N50 billion fund under its RRF. “The N50 billion, which was wrongly referred to as RRF is the Export Development Fund (EDF) released to the new management of the bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to support export-oriented projects towards achieving the Zero Oil Plan of the Federal Government,” the statement said.
In providing the performance profile of the EDF, NEXIM Bank said that following the release of the fund in February 2018, a total of 62 projects have been supported with a total amount of N52.9 billion disbursed, and that the projects supported were by reputable exporting companies with verifiable track records and that many of them rank highly on the list of Top 100 Exporters published quarterly by the CBN.
The bank further said that the loans granted under the facility were adequately secured, mostly with bank guarantees. NEXIM Bank said none of the loans has gone bad, and that the export proceeds generated by the facility from 2019 to date amounted to $90.1 million and €80,000, both translating to N34.8 billion, from projects that have so far repatriated their revenues. According to the bank, an estimated 8,062 jobs have been created and/or sustained as a result of the intervention.
The current management of the bank, led by Abba Bello, resumed office in April 2017 to replace the erstwhile management, which was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. The bank said the previous management was sacked over issues relating to gross incompetence, which had made the bank almost insolvent, with huge non-performing loans, exacerbated by reckless abuse of process, insider related loans and lack of professionalism in loans administration, amongst other issues.
NEXIM Bank said the current management, once it assumed office, focused on retooling the bank and returning the country’s sole export credit agency to its pride of place. It said that, despite the malicious attacks, the current management remains focused on the task of achieving its mandate of broadening Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings by funding credible export-oriented businesses in the non-oil sectors. It, therefore, advised the public to ignore any reporting to the contrary.
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