Showing posts with label BUSINESS. Show all posts

 The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that it will begin refunding applicants for Bureau De Change licenses their N35 million required capital deposits.

The bank will also begin refunding license payments, according to a statement issued by the apex bank's Director of Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Ibrahim Tukur.

The prerequisites for awarding licenses to BDC operators include a non-refundable licensing fee of N1 million and a minimum capital of N35 million.

The new move follows the apex bank's decision to prohibit the sale of FX to BDCs on the grounds of illegal operations and graft.

The bank urged the BDC promoters to request a return in writing to the bank's Director of Financial Policy and Regulations Department.

“The request should be supported by a Telex copy of the N35 million capital deposit, account details for the refund, which should be the same as the account from which the capital deposit was made, and a copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of the N1 million license fee (if any)”.

A photocopy of the letter of request should also be sent to the CBN's head office in Abuja or Lagos, in an envelope clearly labeled "Refund of BDC capital deposit."

It is possible to email the softcopy of the writing to ahead of the hardcopy.

All commercial banks were ordered by the apex bank to stop accepting capital deposits on its behalf.

“In addition, all Deposit Money Banks are hereby advised to cease accepting client orders to transfer capital deposits of N35 million to the designated CBN account for the purpose of applying for BDC licenses.

Meanwhile, the CBN has ordered all Deposit Money Banks to establish teller stations at selected branches across the country to process valid forex requests.

Previously, BDCs were the primary source of forex for all Nigerians wanting it for business, study, or pleasure.

On Wednesday, the CBN issued a memo to deposit money banks, which was signed by the Director, Bank Supervision Department of the apex bank.

It instructed all banks to help clients seeking forex for a variety of reasons, including personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition expenses, medical payments, and SMEs transactions.

“In this regard, DMBs must publicize the locations of authorized branches appropriately and make the necessary arrangements to sell FX to consumers in cash and/or electronically in accordance with existing regulations.

“DMBs should make every effort to guarantee that no customer is turned away or denied FX if all documentation and other standards are met. Similarly, unnecessary delays, rationing, and/or diversion of FX are strictly discouraged, and DMBs must implement electronic application and alert systems to keep consumers informed about the progress of their FX requests."

The CBN has established up a toll-free line for bank customers to escalate unresolved complaints about their FX requests, according to the bank.

According to the note, the CBN will continue to closely monitor banks' behaviour and compliance with the instruction in order to guarantee that the FX market is efficient for all legitimate users.

Transactions on the Nigerian stock market last week sustained positive sentiment as the All-Share Index and market capitalisation appreciated by 2.19 per cent to close the week at 34,885.51 and N18.23tn respectively.

Similarly, all other indices finished higher, with the exception of NSE CG, NSE Banking, NSEAFR Bank Value, NSE AFR Div Yield, NSE MERI Growth and NSE Consumer Goods, which depreciated by 0.05 per cent, 1.31 per cent, 1.53 per cent, 0.38 per cent, 0.44 per cent and 0.5 per cent while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

A total turnover of 1.82 billion shares worth N25.79bn in 31,665 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 11.40 billion shares valued at N35.89bn that exchanged hands  the previous week in 39,265 deals.

The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.27 billion shares valued at N14.71bn traded in 18,392 deals, thus contributing 70.15 per cent and 57.04 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The conglomerates industry followed with 217.17 million shares worth N231.81m in 1,226 deals. The third place was occupied by the consumer goods industry, with a turnover of 113.76 million shares worth N2.59bn in 4,568 deals.

Trading in the top three equities, namely Zenith Bank Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and Access Bank Plc (measured by volume), accounted for 649.53 million shares worth N8.10bn in 6,395 deals, contributing 35.76 per cent and 31.42 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Twenty-seven equities appreciated in price during the week, higher than 21 equities in the previous week; 43 equities depreciated in price, lower than 55 equities in the previous week; while 91 equities remained unchanged, higher than 85 recorded in the previous week

A total of 471,624 units of Exchange-Traded Products valued at N4.22bn were traded last week in 88 deals, compared with a total of 21,455 units valued at N174.67m transacted the previous week in 15 deals.

A total of 9,697 units of bonds valued at N12.17m were traded last week in eight deals, compared with a total of 11,014 units valued at N15.26m transacted the previous week in 15 deals.

Increased investment in technology and the introduction of new online payment channels have earned Nigerian banks N133.92bn. Boluwade Moses gives a breakdown of their earnings

The adoption of electronic channels for financial transactions earned 12 Deposit Money Banks about N133.92bn revenue in the first nine months of 2020, findings have revealed.

With many bank customers striving to maintain social distancing by avoiding the banking hall and leveraging the more convenient digital platforms for various financial transactions, earnings of the financial institutions have continued to expand.

Also, financial technology companies with products that facilitate payments on their platform in partnership with DMB have contributed significantly to the earnings of these banks.

Analyses of unaudited financial reports of 12  banks for the nine month period ended September 30, 2020, showed that their collective revenues from electronic transactions grew by 11 per cent year-on-year from the N120.36bn earned by the financial institutions in 2019.

The income on electronic business of these banks came from Automated Teller Machine transactions, USSD, online transfer, electronic bills payments, Remita, Point of Sale payments and agency banking, among others.

The internet giant said Wednesday it would be partnering with commercial banks and credit unions starting next year to allow users to manage mobile-based accounts through the Google Pay platform, in the latest move by tech giants into consumer finance.

“People do almost everything on their phones today, but for many, the way they save, pay and engage with their bank has remained unchanged,” said Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Google Payments.

“That’s why we’re working with trusted financial institutions to create Plex, a new mobile-first bank account integrated into Google Pay.”

The Plex Accounts for US consumers will be offered with no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements, according to Google, which said 11 banks and credit unions were participating.

Google at the same time said it was updating its Google Pay app to help users better organize payments to people and businesses.

“Instead of showing a stack of cards or a long list of transactions, the new Google Pay app focuses on the friends and businesses you transact with most frequently,” Sengupta said.

The initiative comes with tech giants moving deeper into personal finance with person-to-person payments and co-branded credit cards.

naira weakened to 470 against the United States dollar in the parallel market on Friday despite the interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the official window.

The nation’s currency had traded at N465, N466 and N468 against the greenback on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively. But it fell on Friday to its weakest level in more than a month.

According to Bloomberg, the naira closed at 382.10 per dollar on the spot market, where the CBN sells limited amounts of the greenback to importers.

The international news agency reported that the naira had lost all ground it gained after the regulator started weekly interventions, signaling the continuous existence of pent-up demand for the greenback.

The CBN resume sales to licensed Bureau de Change operators in September after the Federal Government opened up international travel following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bismarck Rewane, said last week that the naira would weaken in the parallel market and likely depreciate to 470-475 against the dollar in November and December.

He said with oil prices still under pressure again, the supply of forex into the country would be further limited.

He said the resumption in international flights, trading and manufacturing activities would heighten forex demand pressures.

We had reported on Friday that the nation’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen to the lowest level in more than two months.

As of November 10, the forex reserves stood at $35.63bn, the lowest since August 24, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Moroccan, Kenyan and South African companies have been identified as Nigeria’s leading competitors in the African Continental Free Trade Area market, analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers have predicted.

The consulting firm made this projection in a publication titled ‘AfCFTA- Thriving in a new Africa’.

The analysts at PwC led by Partner and Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria, Andrew Nevin and Partner and Advisory Leader, Cyril Azobu explored the AfCFTA and its potential impact on Nigerian businesses.

They identified Morocco as a large economy with comparative advantage to compete with Nigeria’s agribusinesses.

According to them, processed agriculture firms in Morocco pose a big threat to Nigerian businesses due to their current production and export capacity as well as adherence to global standards.

PwC identified a Moroccan agro-industrial company that refines oil, manufactures and markets soaps and packaging material as potential competitor to Nigerian businesses.

According to the report, the firm, whose name was not mentioned, currently has the capacity to export its products to approximately 40 countries, primarily in Africa and the Mediterranean.

The report stated, “Now that the AFCFTA has become effective, the firm is poised to successfully export its products and compete for market share in Nigeria.

“This company could potentially serve as competition to market offerings of key local players in Nigeria including Mamador and Devon King, Grand Oil, Power Oil and Famili Pure Vegetable Oil, among others.”

In the retail and trade sector, PwC said retail stores in Kenya had a rong competitive advantage due to availability of e-commerce channels, adherence to global standards and experience with regional expansion.

The analysts identified an indigenous player in Kenya, which started off as a mattress store and grew from a single wholesale shop to a chain of branches across Kenya and Uganda, offering online retail services.

They said the company’s major advantage was its experience in expanding to a neighbouring country, indicating the ability to replicate its success outside its home country.

This company, according to PwC, could potentially serve as competition to key local players in the market like Park ‘n’ Shop, Prince Ebeano, Grand Square, Domino Supermarket, CCD Superstores and Genesis Supermarket.

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Lagos entrepreneur Mrs Kwaghdoo Enyi, is reaping from perfecting the art of baking cakes. She is the proprietor of Kays Pastries Limited, a pastry company based in Lagos. She schooled at FGGC Gboko and read Economics at Benue State University.
What started off as baking for loved ones soon transformed into a business for Mrs Kwaghdoo Enyi. Having worked in a corporate environment, she wanted to do something creative. She used to bake on and off, since she was a child. She discovered a passion for baking and found her baked goodies were a hit among friends .That was when she seriously thought about turning it into a full time entrepreneurial venture.
She said : “I have baked since I was a teenager, luckily for me I had the full support of my Dad, I formally registered a company called Kays Pastries Limited in 2008.”
She added: “I started off in my kitchen, baking for friends and family with basically, my cooker oven and a hand mixer.”
Having decided that she wanted to start a home bakery business, she invested in a reasonably large oven and several baking equipment.  She has 15 staff.  Her expenses are flour, butter and other bakery items.  She said : “My company is a call and order cake service, we offer specialty bespoke cakes for events, cakes tailored to reflect the hobbies and personalities of our clients.”
Delivery is also fast; with cakes delivered in a short notice. Maintaining good relations with clients, colleagues in the industry as well as other entrepreneurs is also key. A passion for baking and the artistic side of cake decorating has steered her through the tough challenges in the business.
On ideas, she is constantly on the lookout for new trends and also undergoes training any chance she gets.
The Lagos entrepreneur is making waves with her call and order cake service. She personifies the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerian women. DANIEL ESSIET reports.

The Group has over 24,000 direct employees and provides indirect employment to tens of thousands of others who are engaged in activities relating to our businesses. Today, Dangote Cement has presence in eighteen African countries and this number is expected to grow in the not too distant future. In 2015, six new plants commenced full operations (Tanzania, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia) while 12 MOUs for a total contract sum of over US$4 Billion were signed.
So how did we get here?

My first foray into business was in 1978, when I used the seed capital given to me by my grandfather, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata, to trade in local commodities and building materials. He also gave me a loan of N500,000 to be repaid whenever I was able. I repaid the loan within three months, as I made good profit from my cement trade, which surprised him greatly.
Initially, the cement trade was good, but soon enough there were challenges. Those were the days of the infamous ‘cement armada.’ The business climate became difficult and I therefore diversified into other commodities. We provided hundreds of direct jobs to Nigerians and paid billions in taxes, contributing directly to government revenues.
But there was a snag. When you import, you export jobs to other countries, and import poverty to your country. These considerations caused a major shift in our operations, especially after I took a trip to Brazil in the mid 1990s.
I was shocked to discover that another developing country similar to Nigeria, had huge manufacturing complexes providing jobs for her citizens and developing the country’s economy, despite hyperinflation.
I realized that if they could do it in Brazil, we could replicate the same in Nigeria.
We organized a Retreat that was anchored by Arthur Andersen, and the outcome was the decision to move into manufacturing. We also took a strategic decision to our banking interests (two banks). We identified the two main reasons why previous industrialists failed, namely: Lack of power and inconsistency in government policies.
We embarked on an import substitution strategy, investing in the local manufacturing of the products that we were importing into Nigeria. We had traded in these products for some years at that time and therefore had a ready market. Transiting into a manufacturing model allowed us to retain our customer base which was a major advantage. We rolled out 13 projects at the same time.
First, we established Agrosacks, which is now the largest polypropylene bag manufacturing company in the world producing 650 million bags per annum. We are in the process of setting up another plant in Ethiopia. Secondly, as the largest importer of salt, we established a salt milling and refining plant.
Thirdly, from being the largest importer of pasta from Italy, we switched to manufacturing pasta locally. To manufacture pasta, we needed wheat flour and so we got into the flour milling business.
We also ventured into sugar refining. Prior to that, we were the largest importer of sugar since 1986. Instead of importing refined sugar, we built a 1.4 million MT per annum Greenfield sugar refinery in Apapa, which is the second largest sugar refinery (under one roof) in the world and also bought the Savannah Sugar Company.
We replicated the same strategy in cement, transitioning from a cement terminal that was commissioned in 2000 to acquiring the comatose Benue Cement Company, which took us 43 months to take over and building brand new plants of our own in Obajana, Kogi State, with a capacity of 5MT.
Having established ourselves as a major player in the manufacturing sector, we continued to sustain our growth through expansion of existing capacities and establishing new businesses.
We also expanded our capacities to take advantages of economies of scale, as large scale production lowers marginal cost. As our business expanded, we commenced formalization of business processes and structures to align with our new vision and direction.
This resulted in the unbundling of Dangote Industries Limited based on commodity lines and the establishment of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. and Dangote Flour Mills. We divested 25% of our investments by listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to enable other Nigerians to become co-owners of these companies. Dangote Salt was listed through a reverse merger with NASCON. In 2009 we took a decision to pay-off all our loans ($2.2 billion) thus becoming debt-free.
Realizing that Africa was gradually becoming a dumping ground for cement from Asia, we took the strategic step of evolving from a cement bagging company to having our own fully integrated cement plants. The strategy was designed to make Nigeria self-sufficient in cement production given the abundant deposits of limestone across Nigeria coupled with the ever growing local demand for cement.
Today we have production operations in eight African countries including Nigeria, with investments at various stages in another ten countries and growing.
In Nigeria we have three cement plants with a combined installed capacity of 29.25 million MT per annum. The Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi state is the largest cement plant in the world with a current capacity of 13.25 million MT. The Ibese cement plant in Ogun State has combined installed capacity of 12 million MT while the Gboko plant has installed capacity of 4 million MT.
We are currently building a new 6 million MT plant in Itori, Ogun State among several other new projects, and by the time we complete all our existing Africa projects in 2017 we will have a total installed capacity of 80 million MT.
It is heartwarming to see new settlements and businesses are opening around the locations of the various plants and many new support businesses, such as banks, materials and service suppliers, restaurants, hotels, workshops, artisans and others helping to further drive local and national economic growth and development. To train our people, we set up the Dangote Academy that provides vocational training to 2,000 of our staff annually and we have plans to upgrade it to a full-fledged university in the very near future.
The Next Trajectory
Over the next five years, our focus will be on generating foreign exchange savings and earnings for Nigeria. When all our projects are completed, we will be the country’s largest earner of foreign exchange after the NNPC.
1) In the sugar sector, we are actively pursuing a backward integration master plan with a target of making Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production. Over 260,000 Hectares of sugar plantation will be cultivated and refineries to produce 20 million MT cane and 2million MT sugar will be constructed. Other products to be realized include ethanol, molasses, bio compost, animal feeds and power generation.
2) We have also committed US$1 Billion towards the commercial production of rice paddy. We plan to produce nearly 1 million metric tonnes of parboiled white rice. The project is expected to significantly boost smallholder rice production in the country through a nucleus and out-grower farming model, as 30% of the paddy will be by smallholder farmers, thereby transforming tens of thousands of livelihoods in rural Nigeria.
We hope that our investments in agriculture (sugar and rice) will open doors and attract other serious entrepreneurs into this sector that is vital for our national economic diversification and development. The two projects will create 180,000 jobs across six states.
3) By the beginning of this decade we had turned our focus to addressing the huge need in the energy markets in Nigeria. More specifically to address the perennial petrol scarcity in Nigeria, we have embarked on the construction of a 650,000 bpd petroleum refinery, the world’s largest single stand-alone refinery, and a separate petrochemical complex in the Lekki Free Trade Zone. This followed the cancellation, by mutual agreement with government, of the privatization program under which we purchased the Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries in 2007, and the refund of our $750 million. The refinery will meet Nigeria’s and some of West Africa’s local demand and save the 38% of foreign exchange earnings spent on petroleum product imports in Nigeria.
4) The petrochemical complex includes a 1.2 million mtpa polypropylene and polyethylene plant (which is 10 times the size of the existing facility at Eleme Petrochemicals) and a combined capacity of 2.8M mtpa Urea and Ammonia fertilizer plant, the largest in the world. Given the huge contribution of Agriculture to GDP (more than oil), it is important for the country to produce its own fertilizer. We are in the process of acquiring potash and phosphate supplies to have the full basket of fertilizer.
It is envisaged that when completed in 2018, the refinery will create jobs for thousands of Nigerians, end the nation’s dependence on petroleum products imports, turn the country into a next exporter of petroleum products, generate more than $6 billion foreign exchange for the nation and have a massive multiplier effect on the Nigerian and regional economies.
5) Given the central role of power in industrialization and the deficit in the country, We are further breaking new ground in the energy sector with our investments in two 554 km, 3 billion square cubic feet (scf) gas offshore pipelines, which will be the first indigenously owned undersea gas pipeline to supply critically needed gas to industry and power plants. Currently, the gas supply in the country is 1 billion scf with an additional 1.2 billion lost to flaring, so this project will be a game changer for the nation and potentially turn Nigeria into the “Qatar of Africa”. The pipelines will run from Bonny through the various gas fields and the gas can generate 12,000 MW of power. Recall that government’s sale of NIPPs totaling 6,800MW has not been successful because of inadequate gas supply.
6) We have also entered into a $5 Billion joint venture agreement with the Black Rhino Group, a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, the largest Private Equity and Asset Management Company in the world, with assets of $334 billion under management, to develop energy infrastructure in Africa. I am proud to say that the Chairman of the Black Rhino Group is no other than the Chairman of today’s lecture, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II. Allah ya taimaki Sarki.

Specifically in Nigeria, we are already looking into setting up power plants in Kano and Abuja. Elsewhere on the continent we are already exploring opportunities in Togo and Zimbabwe, and most of these plants will be coal-based, as we have developed expertise and capacity through the provision of captive power to all our factories. This has been a key factor in our success as our cost of power is 4 cents/kWh on average, compared to 15 cents/kWh average for residential users.

In total we will be investing over US$19 Billion across our various businesses as we consolidate in some, grow others and venture into new fields and enterprises.

It is worth noting that as an entrepreneur, I have not limited myself to physical investments only. Due to the scale of the need and the magnitude of the benefits; I also advocate for greater participation by other investors, policy makers, financiers, innovators and communities. In this spirit, I serve on the World Economic Forum’s Global Business Council, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council as well as the Global Advisory Board of McKinsey, among others. I am a co-founder of the African Energy Leaders Group and inaugural member of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Successful entrepreneurs must know how to build partnerships, coalitions and consensus to succeed.

As an entrepreneur, nothing gives me more pleasure than the opportunity to give back to the community. Our companies are at the forefront of corporate social responsibility initiatives. In addition, at a personal level, I set up the Dangote Foundation in 1993 as another platform for philanthropy. Two years ago, I endowed the Foundation to the tune of $1.25 billion and it has been focusing on the areas of education, health, empowerment and emergency relief.

From the foregoing, we can safely conclude that entrepreneurship is the only way to secure Nigeria’s future. We have all the resources - both human and natural - at our disposal to do this and owe it to ourselves.

Is entrepreneurship easy? Certainly not! Throughout my journey I encountered several challenges and obstacles and some failures. But I kept going.

Attempts to solve social problems frequently fail because they require collective action from governments, universities, civil society and the private sector. Producing large-scale, reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable goods and services is a key global challenge. But the solutions are within our grasp. Nigeria’s future is bright. And its future lies in its youth. To realize its full potential, we need to build our human talents and resources for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Institutions like ABU need to move out of the comfort of their traditional environment and work more actively with institutions, groups and individuals in the market place, on the fields and in politics, and business; physically and metaphorically speaking. We must collectively take deliberate steps to nurture our entrepreneurs to enable Nigeria to take her pride of place in the comity of nations.

Long live the Ahmadu Bello University.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you and God bless you all.

There is a Yoruba adage to the effect that the world licks your hand when it is coated with honey but will never lick the same hand when it is dripping blood. It has been only a few days – not even one week, since Mr Robert Orya was, along with 26 other Managing Directors and Director-Generals of various parastatals, honourably relieved of his appointment as the MD/CEO of Nigeria Export – Import (NEXIM) Bank and the diverse knives are already being out.
As Hermann Göring said, “The victor will always be the judge, the vanquished the accused…” The cyberspace and even some legacy media are already awash with opinion pieces that have only one goal and that objective is to demonise Mr Orya. Today, such writers and those whose interest they serve may appear the victors and thus arrogate to themselves the assignment of writing the history of NEXIM Bank and Orya’s stay at the helms of its affairs.
The distortions being peddled make no efforts to conceal the real object of the campaign of calumny that only gathered steam after the former NEXIM helmsman was out of the saddle. This will suggest that anything is possible going by the degree of desperation so far exhibited by those after Orya. Files that will prove his achievements in history could be disappeared or entire cabinets that could properly tell the Orya magic story could go up in mysterious flames while one will also not rule out the possibility that phantom files could be planted just to manufacture evidence to smear the man’s image and superlative tenure.
The envy for Roberts Orya’s trailblazing work at NEXIM Bank is however not new. In the ranks of those driving the vendetta against are those who thought they have been wronged by him because he refused to short-circuit due process to meet their spurious demands. The ranks include those who wanted loans without collaterals; and not to be left out are those who were made to pay back what they borrowed. Many of these elements even as early as 2012 had started sending death threats to, and sponsoring calumnious media campaigns against him through various outlandish means and platforms. The records are both in High Courts where Orya sued most of them, and various media platforms. Their present point of departure is therefore obvious. Now that the man is no longer in office it is time to kick him – they forget that he is out of NEXIM as MD but he is not down so the idea of kicking is ridiculous to start with.
They can try their best to tar him but the marble achievements he recorded while his tenure at lasted in NEXIM are such that no amount of mudslinging will stick. Orya did enough at the Nigeria’s Trade Policy Bank to leave whoever his successor will be to be permanently challenged.
For a start, as opposed to what the next Managing Director of the Bank will meet, when Orya stepped in 2009, the bank was in appalling shape with the greater number of the accounts it was holding being in the non-performing class. NEXIM Bank’s total loan portfolio was N14.6 billion as at that time and 72% of this was non-performing; a large portion of these, more than two-third was considered as completely lost. This was a time the world was still grappling with the fall out of a global financial crisis and NEXIM Bank has such dismal capital base that there was not much it could do by way of meeting its mandate.
This situation was compounded, at that time, by the Bank’s over bloated work force that largely lacked the requisite technical skills to deal with the specialized needs of the organisation. In the period he presided over the institution’s affairs, Orya saw to it that the staff were trained to meet their job specification while additional efforts were made to right place them for optimal performance. The challenge posed by poor staff motivation was also addressed and the result was discernable as the revitalised staff were able to come up with world class ideas to drive the institution. One result from the empowered staff with automated system was the significant slashing down of the turnaround time that saw delivery time 80% Turn Around Time and 95% IT efficiency rate and uptime.
For the first time since its inception in 1991, it was under Orya’s watch that NEXIM was able to pay dividends to its owners. He achieved this feat despite the dismal state in which he took over the running of the Bank. It took only sixteen months to move from making a loss of N5.460billion in 2009 to turning an impressive audited profit of N189million in 2010. The momentum was sustained until his noble disengagement from the Bank.
Then there was the overall issue of what NEXIM had been doing wrong prior to Orya’s advent. Here was a specialised bank that was drawn out of its area of mandate for political expediency. It was spreading its resources so thinly trying to satisfy everyone without satisfying anyone. But the quick thinking of the Orya led management saw the institution streamlining and re-focusing its area of intervention. Instead of attempting to unsuccessfully cover the entire world, the West African sub-region became its area of focus with resounding success stories following. Nigerian businesses were able to make inroads into the neighbouring countries with their products.
Even as NEXIM redefined its focus, other sectors of the Nigerian economy continued to enjoy the stability and funds injection made possible by its creativity. Beneficiaries went beyond the traditional businesses to break new grounds like the entertainment and creative industry which benefited both technically and financially from the Bank’s facilities.
Under Orya, NEXIM initiated the facilitation of a transnational shipping company under the auspices of the organised private sector associations in West and Central Africa and in partnership with the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industries and Transimex S. A Cameroun. The Sealink Project was conceived to address the non-tariff barriers and high logistical costs that had slowed intra-regional trade and competitiveness of Nigerian manufactured exports in the region. The promoters of that project are keen to see it to completion, nonetheless.
The bank also moved from an institution that operated in isolation to one that signed several Memoranda of Understanding with sister Export – Import Banks from other countries. Relationships now exist between NEXIM and most of the EXIM banks in the world. The U.S EXIM Bank, the African Import-Export, Afrexim, EximIndia, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) are among those working with the Nigerian counterpart. Collaborative relationships have been established with various other development finance institutions around the world including China, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico.
All the other achievements of the bank went a long way towards creating thousands of desperately needed jobs and foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria. These include direct and indirect jobs that were added to the economy.
Recognition may be scanty in Nigeria but the world acknowledged the strides covered by NEXIM under his unique leadership. The 24-member Global Network of Export-Import Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID) elected Roberts Orya as its Honourary President in 2015 in recognition of his globally relevant contributions.
His sterling performance was such that he was again reappointed for a second term by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Thankfully, the President Buhari Administration has proven that its change mantra is hinged on meritocracy, so there is no gainsaying that the baton of excellence Mr Orya has wielded for almost the past 7 years would be handed over to another patriotic Nigerian. This would ensure the consolidation and escalation of the manifest achievements Orya had wrought in the Bank. This position has nothing to do with self-interest. Orya’s achievements has at the very least benefited the West African sub-region and it would be sad to see the bank slide back to those awful days when it was but a political appendage for settling and repaying party loyalists.
Those who have decided that ill-treatment is the reward for serving the fatherland on this scale will do well to have a rethink. Whatever they may think they have against Robert Orya, there is the comforting knowledge that the legacy he built at NEXIM will outlive him and his assailants. This is because he built a system, an institution and not the cult of an individual. In this, Robert Orya, the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank between 2009 and 2016, is a victor. Like all victors, he will by his achievements judge the vanquished, the accused, who today think they are his persecutors.

Odoma is President, Africa Arise for Change Network, Abuja.


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