By Raphael Ekpang
The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) Mr. Abubakar Abba Bello has bagged a ‘Prudent Management Award’ of the year 2020.
MD/CEO of NEXIM Bank was presented with the award by members of the National Assembly New Media Forum (Forum for online journalist) on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr. Bello who dedicated the award to his staff said the gesture will spurge him and his team to do more for the nation’s economy, while urging the Nigerian Online Journalists to help in tackling the fake news already awash on social media which is portraying Nigeria negatively to the global community, so that the general public will have the correct knowledge of the happening in the country.
Bello stated that when the current executive management of NEXIM led by himself came onboard in May 2017, they developed a Strategic Plan to cover 2018-2022 which was articulated towards improving operational performance, achieving the bank’s mandate and contributing towards meeting the objectives of the federal government of Nigeria under the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan.
According to him, the Plan has been implemented for over three years and has contributed to the significant turnaround of the operational performance of the Bank.
He noted that unlike the trend in the past, the Bank has also engaged significantly with stakeholders , with improved relationships, manifesting in collaborative efforts towards policy intervention and increased focus on the non-oil export sector.
He said that the declining trend in operational performance of the bank before they took over has since been reversed with improvement in key financial indices.
“Growth in the bank’s balance sheet from N67.73bn in April 2017 has increased to N158.84bn as at January 31, 2021. With continued positive performance, increased strategic partnerships for lines of credit and the push for recapitalization of the bank, the target is to achieve a balance sheet size of at least N1.2trillion in 2022.” He said “The bank achieved a profit of N1.09bn in 2018, N2.13bn in 2019 and N1.28bn in 2020, after a loss of N567 Million in 2017 and a bigger loss of N8.03bn in 2016. The profit decline in 2020 is due to the impact of Covid-19 on businesses, which necessitated the interest rebate and moratorium extension granted by the bank to its customers.”
He continues, “Introduction of aggressive debt recovery and proactive loan work measures leading to an increase in overall recoveries from only N200m in December 2016 to N4.76bn and 750,000 US Dollars between January 2017 and January 2021. In addition, assets worth about N7bn are currently up for sale.
He explained that their efforts to clean up the balance sheet and improvement in the risk management practices with new loans granted from 2018 performing one hundred percent, was a major departure from the huge non-performing loans in the past.
He further explained that the enhanced operating model through restructuring of regional offices for the bank to maintain presence in each geo-political zone of the country is for better penetration and nationwide coverage.
However, Bello added that his team was able to refocused the bank and regain confidence on their stakeholders
Earlier, the chairman of National Assembly New Media Forum, Yemi Itodo while presenting the award to the MD/CEO of NEXIM said the online journalists in Nigeria are capable of changing the negative narratives about Nigeria and projecting the image of the country in positive light to the international communities
According to him, one of the ways of doing that is by recognizing those who have stood out and made the country proud in their respective endavours such as the efforts the MD/CEO of NEXIM and his team have put in the nation’s economy within three years in the helm of the affairs of the Bank.
“In our present day Nigeria, where both the traditional and new media ditto social media is awash with disturbing negative stories about the country Nigeria and their leaders, aside the already escalating spates of insecurity and other social vices, we have decided to start changing the narratives and projecting the image of the country in positive lights to the international communities and intending investors,” he said.