Sanusi, NEPC hail FCMB’s export promotion drive
Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of Kano, His Highness Alhaji Muhammed Sanusi II has joined other stakeholders of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited to salute the financial institution on its rich series of customer fora on export trade.
Already, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said it targets $25 billion revenue from non-oil export by 2025.
The royal father, who attended the latest forum of FCMB held in Kano, noted that the forum is another way of assisting the growth of businesses and activities of the government in its bid to diversify the nation’s economy through the zero-oil strategy.
The Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo recalled that the event was organised in collaboration with NEPC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and 3T Impex Trade Academy.
According to the bank, the Kano forum was the fourth in its series with theme; ‘Financial Inclusion for Non-oil Exports Growth’,
The forum was organized to grow and deepen the capacity of its customers and other stakeholders on the rudiments and benefits of export trade and how FCMB could provide support such as direct export financing, refinancing and rediscounting of sales contracts/invoice (pre-shipment and post-shipment financing) for agro commodities, solid minerals and other non-oil resources.
Commenting further, Emir Sanusi urged Nigerians engaged in export trade to move beyond primary products by focusing on the exportation of processed products, which will go a long way to add value to their businesses and the country in general.
He argued that “We must realise that the era of Nigeria exporting raw agricultural and other primary products is gone. For us to achieve the required mileage and benefits in international trade, we must redirect our efforts on processing finished products and export these items which will earn us more revenue, build capacity and accelerate the country’s drive towards industrialisation.”
“FCMB has provided a window of opportunity for businesses in Kano through this forum. I believe the bank will use this platform to further empower the people, businesses and the economy of the state, considering its rich history beginning as an investment bank and the institution’s impressive skills pedigree,” Emir Sanusi added.
In his remarks, NEPC represented by the Regional Co-ordinator, North-West of the council, Alhaji Abdullahi Mamman averred that “NEPC’s collaboration with FCMB will play an important role in delivering the zero-oil plan strategy and making the non-oil export sector a significant contributor to foreign exchange earnings.”
He admonished FCMB for putting up the forum across the federation, saying “FCMB is helping to build a higher level of engagement with exporters and other stakeholders to promote competitiveness, competence and capacity through innovative and bespoke financial solutions.”
In his submission, Awolowo explained that the zero-oil plan is a coherent agenda to mobilise public and private sector resources towards replacing oil as the main source of the country’s foreign exchange and revenue.
Continuing, he said “The focus is to make the world a market place for Nigerian non-oil products. We want to grow non-oil exports from $2.7 billion (2014) to $8 billion in 2019 and eventually $25 billion by 2025,” he said, adding that, “appropriate trade financing is critical in achieving this feat.”
Earlier in his address, the Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru, said it is one of the various initiatives of the bank to build the capacity and support customers to take their businesses to the next level in order to effectively leverage on available opportunities such as those provided by financial inclusion and e-payment solutions.
Nuru added further that “this programme helps to amplify how much we value our customers. It also provides a platform for us to equally inform the market that we are truly on ground to support government, exporters and stakeholders in their efforts towards driving and growing export trade to boost non-oil revenue and other benefits in Nigeria in a sustainable manner.”
He disclosed further that FCMB has various services it provides to exporters to enable them effectively carry out their business. These include, but are not limited to, pre-shipment and post-shipment financing, processing of payments by way of telegraphic transfer, internet banking, or other means, provision of documentary and standby letters of credit, guarantees, performance bonds, securities underwriting commitments and other forms of off balance sheet exposures, issuing bank drafts and bank cheques to exporters to facilitate trade, lending through overdraft, installment loans, cash management and treasury services, among others.