NEXIM Bank denies allegation of diverting $500 million for Edo election
NEXIM Bank said it grants loans to support export-oriented projects only and does not fund political activities under any guise.
Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) has in a statement today denied the allegation circulating in some news media that it plans to give the national ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), the sum of $500 million to contest the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State.
A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Chris Osa Nehikhare, and cited by some media outlets, said that the APC National Campaign Council and a Director in NEXIM Bank have perfected plans to convert the money into a loan, thereby imposing a long-term debt burden on the people of the state. The statement also called the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Bank.
“The Management of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), wishes to state categorically that the allegations are not only false and misleading, but a mischievous attempt to drag the Bank and its management into interparty politics,” NEXIM Bank said in the statement signed by its Management, which was sent to Financial Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank is an agency of government, whose mandate is to promote the diversification of the Nigerian external sector by providing funding and risk bearing services to the non-oil export sector. In this regard, the Bank grants loans to support export-oriented projects only and does not fund political activities under any guise,” the state added.
NEXIM Bank said it was pertinent to state that given the current economic downturn occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bank is currently focused on efforts to further boost intervention in the non-oil export sector so as to mitigate the impact of this global scourge, and bring the country on a quick recovery path.
It said the Bank, therefore, considers it a disservice, not only to NEXIM, but to the entire country for any individual or group to engage in activities capable of distracting the institution and its management, particularly during this critical period of serious economic challenges.
The APC and PDP are locked in a fierce contest for the governorship of Edo State. The incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, elected four years ago on the platform of the APC, defected to the PDP last month after his former party denied him its ticket to run for re-election. In another switch of party loyalty, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who ran against Obaseki on the party platform of the PDP in 2016, will now challenge the incumbent as the candidate of the APC.
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