Fidelity Bank to support export-oriented MSMEs with N30bn bonds

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Fidelity Bank Plc has disclosed that 80 per cent
of the net proceeds of the N30 billion bonds it
recently raised from the Nigerian Stock
Exchange (NSE) will be deployed to assist
export-oriented Micro-Small and Medium
Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country in order to
raise their level of competitiveness in the global
market.

The managing Director/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi
Okonkwo, made the disclosure at a one-day
workshop/training on exports organised by
Koinonia Ventures Limited in conjunction with
the bank.
He said the capital raising exercise is expected
to enable the bank fulfil its promise to increase
MSME lending to 50 percent by 2017. Okonkwo,
who was represented by Chijioke Ugochukwu,
the bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services
& Products, said the lender’s renewed focus on
MSMEs was driven by its growing role in the
transformation of economies.
He noted that huge prospects exist in the
Agricultural and Small Medium Enterprise
(SMEs) sectors, saying that the sectors can play
significant roles in diversifying Nigeria’s
monolithic economy if they are properly
positioned.

Speaking on ‘Turning Adversity to Prosperity: A
Case for a Radical Repositioning of Nigeria’s
Non-Oil Export Sector’, Olufemi Boyede, MD/
CEO, Koinonia Ventures, noted that the Nigerian
economy can only make progress if local
entrepreneurs become export-ready.
Commenting on the country’s competitive
advantage, particularly as it relates to export
trade, Boyede said Nigeria currently has over 5,
000 exportable products, explaining that about
21 of such products can be quickly harnessed
for the benefit of the nation’s economy. Alluding
to the enormous successes of Obama’s
National Export Initiative (NEI), the Koinonia
boss urged the federal government to create the
much needed environment for Nigerian
exporters to thrive. “The Barack Obama
Administration has made it a top priority to
improve the conditions that directly affect the
private sector’s ability to export”.

In her keynote address at the training
programme, Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State,
Industry, Trade & Investment, said government
is more than ever dogged in its quest to revive
agriculture as an alternative to crude oil
through better reforms, value chain/addition and
discouragement of export of raw materials.
“There are a sizeable number of agricultural
commodities grown in Nigeria that are quoted in
the international commodities market and these
include cocoa, palm oil, groundnut, Sesame
seed, Shea Nuts, cotton and even fish”.

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