Trained to find new potential in the Nigerian economy and to seek unserved markets, NEXIM has developed new export segments where previously none existed, such as in the country’s film industry, Nollywood, as well as in mining, agriculture and the hotel industry. Beloxxi, for example, has become Nigeria’s largest biscuit manufacturer with the help of NEXIM’s guidance and funding.
“Our primary mandate is to regulate and develop non-oil commodities for export. What we have done over the years has had phenomenal results; we have opened up sectors which had no value-added exports. In the agricultural sector, for instance, some of NEXIM’s greenfield projects have become so big that they are now listed among the Central Bank’s top 100 exporters,” explains Managing Director Robert Orya.
“Also NEXIM started the country’s first cocoa processing plant, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods, which is today one of the largest in Africa. The biggest rubber company in Africa, Pamol Nigeria, is also one of NEXIM’s projects. It currently has an annual turnover exceeding $100 million. So NEXIM has been able to contribute significantly in agriculture.”
Targeting areas traditionally overlooked by commercial banks in manufacturing, agriculture, solid minerals and services, NEXIM is first in on the ground, working to increase the sector’s worth until traditional banks are interested in entering. “We go into sectors such as these to re-package them and make them attractive for commercial banks and any other private entity that is interested in operating there. A great deal of effort has gone into ensuring that many companies could be financed by NEXIM, and we hope to do a lot more in the future,” says Mr Orya.
Other NEXIM success stories include Cibi Nigeria, which specialises in the polishing of granite and marble, and other manufacturing companies in cement and furniture. NEXIM companies generated foreign exchange earnings of over $150 million in 2011.