Towards supporting the development of key agricultural products for export, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has earmarked the sum of N37 billion for the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to diversify their revenue base.

The bank added that, each state and the FCT would get N1billion, which would be given as facility at a single-digit interest rate, with the amount to be increased when necessary.

Abubakar Bello, NEXIM Bank Managing Director in a chat with newsmen in Katsina State said the funds would be used to develop and support one or two export commodities from primary production to the export stage.

The initiative, he said is aimed at “complementing Federal Government’s efforts at diversifying the oil-base revenue to agriculture.”

According to him, “The bank has chosen Katsina as pilot state to kick start the initiative, and that both the bank and state government would work closely to see the initiative’s realization.”

Bello said the management of the bank had held series of meetings with stakeholders, including government and key persons within the sector’s value chain, over a period of two days to create awareness on the programme.

He said the state is known for the production of commodities that are exportable, including soya beans and sesame seed, and that one or both products would be selected and supported from production to export state.

Bello, who noted that the initiative would be based on the anchor-borrow scheme, added that the initiative would help generate employment opportunities, enhance food production and help boost the economic status of the states.

The bank’s management, which is expected to visit other states to create the needed awareness, had earlier met with Governor Aminu Bello Masari and top government officials to finalize discussions on the issue.

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