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If we don’t grow the real sector of the economy then we are joking—NEXIM Bank boss

The Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello, has revealed the efforts of the bank in working towards seamless access to funds from the bank by real sector investors and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Already, the bank is currently perfecting how it will revive Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc with the sum of N5bn to get the company up and running, and contribute significantly to economic growth.

Multi-Trex is a cocoa production company that had issues with funding in the last few year of takeoff.

In an interview, Bello said, “We are working on the Export Stimulation Fund so as to bring them back to life. The process is already on; right now we are ready to start the process of the application, all we are waiting for right now is the terms of settlement – the resolution between the company and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria; and once that is done, we will go ahead.

“AMCON needs to release them to enable them borrow, and once the approval has been given then we are good to go. This is one of the best projects we have supported under the ESF, because the equipment are there and only the working capital is needed to kick start it.

Only last Friday, the Chairman and his House Committee on Banking and Currency members, Jones Onyereri, toured the embattled firm and observed th need to come to the aid of the firm.

The lawmakers averred that the current challenge facing Multi-Trex is beyond it and there is therefore the need to support it.

The Committee chairman noted that “We must encourage the private sector because, this is the only way we can grow the economy; and if we don’t grow the real sector of the economy then we are joking.

“We need to put some measures in place to bring down the interest rate and encourage the private sector.  We are pushing it as a parliament and we will keep pushing.

Responding, the Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Multi-Trex, Mr. Oladimeji Owofemi, said the company was waiting for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and AMCON’s approval to proceed on the intervention by NEXIM Bank.

According to him, “The only issue we have here is just the working capital which is in the region of N4bn to N5bn. It sounds big but a tonne of cocoa last season got as high as N1m. That can only buy 5,000 tonnes; and this factory can process 65,000 tonnes for full capacity. So, is that not much money? And NEXIM Bank is looking at our request”.