Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has refuted allegations claiming that it mismanaged a N50 billion fund released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) two years ago for the Export Development Fund (EDF).
In a statement by Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Tayo Omidiji, a copy of which was obtained by Abeyanews, Thursday, NEXIM said the allegations were from a faceless organisation identified as ‘Citizens Committee for Corruption Free Nigeria (CCCN).’
Abeyanews recalls that the said group had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into the fund, which it suspected had been misused by the bank.
However, reacting to the CCCN allegation of mismanagement of EDF, the bank described the claims as ‘malicious lies, amounting to an unpatriotic act of disservice to the bank and to the country at large.’
Omidiji clarified that following the release of the fund in February 2018, to support export-oriented projects towards achieving the federal government’s non-oil exports growth plan, a total of N52.9 billion had been disbursed to support 62 projects.
He added that this had by extension resulted in the creation of 8,062 jobs in a little over two years.
The statement said the clarification was a necessary procedure to set the records straight and allay the concerns of its numerous stakeholders since the instigators of the campaign appeared to be relentless.
According to the bank, under the current management led by Mr Abba Bello, he has been able to reposition the bank within three years of assuming office by turning its fortunes with profits of N2.03 billion recorded in 2019 up by more than 85 per cent from N1.09 billion in 2018.
“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 current management resumed office in April 2017 to replace the erstwhile management, which was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari over issues relating to gross incompetence, which had rendered 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, among other issues.
“The loans granted are adequately secured, mostly with bank guarantees, and are all performing, with export proceeds received from 2019 to date amounting to $90.1 million and €80,000, translating to N34.8 billion, from projects that have so far repatriated their revenues.
“In addition, an estimated 8,062 jobs have been created and/or sustained as a result of the intervention,” adding further that the progress been recorded angered those who are affected by it, as ‘the intent would not deter it.’
“Moreover, such individuals 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.
“Despite the malicious attacks, the current management of the Bank 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. We, therefore, advise the public to ignore any reporting to the contrary,” the statement added.