Managing director of Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abba Bello, has given reasons why Kebbi State became the first state where the women And Youth Export Development Facility (WAYEF) was launched after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
According to Bello, the United Nations Population projection for Nigeria in 2020 indicated that about 62 per cent of Nigerians are below 25 years, while over 50 per cent belong to the female gender and as such these segments of the population cannot be ignored by an interventionist agency like NEXIM. He said WAYEF was a deliberate and targeted funding scheme to address the needs of these vulnerable groups.
The managing director disclosed this yesterday in Birnin Kebbi the state capital, adding that the decision to also launch the scheme in Kebbi was informed by the strong enthusiasm shown by youths in the state, under the auspices of the Kebbi Youth Connect Initiative and recognition of the wide array of exportable products, including groundnuts, cotton, onions among others which are available in the state and could be harnessed by women and youths.
Bello acknowledged and commended the investment drive in the state by the administration of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu like the rice revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for production of biofuel and renewable energy.
He said: “Your efforts in this direction have not only contributed to the significant increase in the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) but have also positively impacted the socio-economic indices particularly in the areas of jobs creation and sustainable development.”
The executive director, business development of the bank, Hon Stella
Okotete urged the women and youths to embrace the facility provided to improve their lots noting that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to continue with the empowerment programmes.