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Fidelity Bank Moves In Partnership With Edo State, GIZ To Host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable And Sensitisation Workshop




The Oasis Reporters

 



May 20, 2022





helping importers pivot to exports

‘.. there’s the need to help exporters build their business management capacity’ – Isaiah Ndukwe, Div. Head, Export & Agric, Fidelity Bank Plc

‘ ** roundtable aims to identify, promote viable non-oil export opportunities’ – Marcus Unuebho


 


Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host an exports roundtable and policy sensitisation workshop for businesses in Benin-City, Edo State capital in partnership with the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and GIZ on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.

 

 



The event, which would be the fourth edition of the bank’s CBN RT200 FX Sensitization seminars following successful outings in Kano, Ondo and Plateau States in February, March and April 2022 respectively, is part of the bank’s initiatives to help importers pivot to exports.

 




According to the Divisional Head, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe, Fidelity Bank’s decision to partner ESIPO and GIZ is borne out of the need to help exporters to build their business management capacity and is further proof of the value the bank provides to export-oriented businesses in Nigeria.



“At Fidelity Bank we are known for empowering our customers with the necessary financial and non-financial services to upscale their businesses. We consider the CBN RT200 FX scheme an amazing opportunity for businesses to bolster their FX earning capacity and we are delighted to collaborate with ESIPO and GIZ to host businesses in and around Benin City to a workshop to help them take advantage of the scheme”, explained Ndukwe.



Launched on February 10, 2022, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, the RT200 FX scheme is designed to help Nigeria achieve $200 billion in FX repatriation from non-oil exports over the next five years. The policy has been hailed by stakeholders in the export sector as an initiative capable of stimulating the growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria.



“The goal of the roundtable is to identify and promote viable non-oil export opportunities, provide financing options, and proffer steps to removing the identified bottlenecks in the export process for non-oil products from Edo State to the global market.


“It will provide a platform for the exporters to meet with the export regulatory bodies and express their challenges which hinder exports.


The event will also serve as an opportunity for the regulatory agencies to address the challenges on the spot and provide solutions to them with a view of enhancing Nigeria’s capacity in the African Continental Free Trade Area deal”, commented Marcus Unuebho of the Business Development Support and Export Unit, ESIPO.



On his part, the Technical Advisor for Edo State, Local Economic and Value Chain Development, GIZ SEDIN, Nosakhare Omon Aigiomawu stated that, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the drivers of local economic development.



“Collaborating to provide market linkages and access to finance would address major constraints to these groups and ensure more employment creation as well as higher income”.

 


In another development, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has said that Nigeria needs massive investment in Agriculture, for ‘the future is bleak with an Oil-dependent economy.

 


This was stated in an email sent to The Oasis Reporters and published on
May 19, 2022.

 


In it, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, decried the country’s over-dependence on crude oil, restating the need to enhance the nation’s global competitiveness through increased investment in agriculture.




The governor, who described the dependence on oil as unsustainable, noted that with increased investment in agriculture, the country will be able to grow sufficient produce to ensure food security, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of citizens.

L-R: Head Plantation Development, Sudit Oil, Chief Henry Olatujoye; Chairman, Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), Emmanuel Ibru; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Secretary, National Action Committee on Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Francis Anatogu, and Executive Consultant, POFON, Fatai Afolabi, during a courtesy visit, at the Government House, in Benin City, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.



Obaseki spoke while addressing members of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), who were on a courtesy visit, at the Government House, Benin City.




Obaseki further said that there’s an urgent need to diversify as the nation’s dependence on oil has not been able to enhance the global competitiveness of its economy.



The governor, however, noted that his administration remains committed to economic diversification through agriculture and will sustain programmes and reforms aimed at boosting the sector and ensuring food security.



He said, “As a people and as a country, it is all about economic competitiveness. Whether we like it or not, the current DNA of the Nigerian economy is being forced to change. That means our overreliance on crude oil has not increased our global competitiveness, particularly in the oil trade.




“For us in Edo, we, fortunately, saw this coming and we have prepared ourselves for this transition that we are witnessing. We are in a race against time, just reading the news and seeing what other countries are going through as a result of the Ukrainian war.”



Obaseki continued: “It’s really scary that we cannot continue in this direction. Last week, Indonesia and Malaysia banned the export of oil palm. Specifically for us in Edo, agriculture is key because food production is our priority. First, let’s feed ourselves and the extra we have, we will use it to trade.



“We are glad that we have members of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria. You can say whatever you want about agriculture, but at the end of the day, it’s about skill and the training of the personnel, which I believe is the most important aspect in agriculture.”



“If we don’t get all of these right, we cannot compete. We need to be able to produce at a competitive rate to be able to sell. So, that is why I want to encourage you to continue what you are doing. For us in Edo, we have a huge opportunity and a unique advantage because you can’t transverse Nigeria without coming to Edo,” the governor added.



Earlier, the Chairman of POFON, Mr. Emmanuel Ibru, who identified the importance of agriculture to the economy, said Edo is one of their major palm oil-producing states in the country as most of their major stakeholders are from Edo.



Commending the governor for his initiatives to boost agriculture development in the state, he noted, “We know that Edo has been making giant strides in various oil palm initiatives. We want to commend you once again.”



To give impetus to his thoughts on expanding the non oil economy, Governor Obaseki has since commissioned the Edo State’s Ossiomo independent Power plant for 24/7 electricity as support to agro processing for local consumption and also the export market.




Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.



Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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