NASS Warns NEXIM’s Loan Beneficiaries


…Lauds NEXIM, Furniture Coy Over N1.2bn credit
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA -The National Assembly says there must be consequences for agencies of government, corporate organizations and individuals that treat public credit facilities with tardiness and contempt.
This is even as Nigeria Export Import (NEXIM) Bank said the 1.2 billion Naira loan granted an Abuja-based furniture company, Alibert Products Nigeria Limited (APNL), was in line with its core mandate of financing non-oil export to boost Nigeria’s economic development on a sustainable basis.
According to the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, access to such credits calls for absolute responsibility on the part of beneficiaries and the giving agencies to ensure prudent management and effective service delivery.
Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr Jones Onyeri gave the warning when the members, led by officials of NEXIM Bank, visited APNL’s factory at Idu Industrial Layout in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on oversight function.
The lawmakers, who gave kudos to NEXIM and the APNL for demonstrating caution and value addition in the execution and utilization of the facility, insisted that beneficiaries of public goodwill must be made to face consequences if such privileges are abused by them.
In his remarks, Acting Managing Director of the Bank, Mr Bashir Ali, said the facility, offered between 2013 and 2015, was a demonstration of NEXIM’s support for local industries and entrepreneurs to produce and market quality products within and outside Nigeria.
Mr Ali said NEXIM would not renege in its statutory responsibilities of encouraging local businesses to be competitive on the global stage with their products, adding that interventions from the bank were meant to open up the employment space as well as improve Nigeria’s non-oil foreign exchange earnings.
The NEXIM Chief Executive said the bank’s funding for Alibert came in form of “equipment, finance and working capital and the end result of that funding is what you are seeing here”, stressing, “They operate with 90 per cent local manpower content and the strategy is to build capacity at the local level, employ people within the immediate environment to ensure that people are gainfully employed.”
For the Managing Director of APNL, Mr. Taan Taan, who addressed issues raised by House Committee members and the media, the company was able to navigate the economic challenges in the country to increase its production in the last six months by about 30 per cent.
Assuring that APNL intends to further expand its production capacity by about 60 per cent before year 2017 ending, Mr Taan said the company’s market coverage currently covers some West African countries, including Benin Republic, Senegal, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire with arrangements underway to float its products into the European market.
He however hinted that from its initial 500 workers in both Abuja and Lagos offices, the current economic downturn forced the company to reduce its staff strength to less than 350 at present.
The House Committee’s visit was to ensure the company has properly utilized the three-year old credit facility and the Chairman, Mr Onyeri, said members were impressed with the Alibert’s faithfulness in utilising the NEXIM’s facility, as well as its repayment plan to offset the loan on schedule.

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