Katsina, NEXIM Bank partner to establish sesame processing plant
21 feb 2020

Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Katsina State government have sealed agreement to establish sesame and hibiscus flower processing and production for their export. NEXIM Bank Managing Director, Mr. Abba Bello, disclosed the plan when he received Governor AminuMasari at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja. He said the bank’s decision was in line with the Federal Government’s one state, one product programme to support production of whatever crop a state had opportunity cost in, which value addition can be added before export. Bello said the partnership could create more than 1,000 jobs directly and another 5,000 indirect jobs along the value chain. The process was designed to involve all players in the sesame and hibiscus production value chain from the farms, processing hubs to logistics and packaging.

“We believe in partnership with the Katsina State government and identified entrepreneurs in Katsina State that can actually drive it,” NEXIM bank boss said. Speaking at the occasion, NEXIM Executive Director, Business Development, Stella Okotete, said 1,200 farmers had been identified to be sponsored to grow sesame up to international standard in Katsina State for export. "We believe that if we can have more business owners, entrepreneurs come up to sign up for our project drive, we can actually create more than the 1,200 jobs currently secured with the 1,200 farmers," Okotete said.Apart from the N1 billion seed fund per state, Okotete said NEXIM was currently designing an aggregator export programme with NIRSAL with the aim of identifying aggregators or anchors who would feed the farmers in the field with the needed support, including seedlings, insecticides to grow exportable commodities and aggregate them for export.

The delegation was in NEXIM to fast-track the release of the remaining 40 per cent of its N2 billion loan facility after completing the 60 per cent of the requirement to access the N2 billion export development fund. The fund was meant for the development of rural areas that would make the commodity available. Speaking later, Governor Masari said the state government had developed 800 hectares of Economic Green Zone purposely for export. He said the intention was to partner NEXIM Bank to put final infrastructure in place to attract more investors. "Our intension is to have medium and small scale processing of Sesame and Hibiscus. There are some Indian companies that are ready to come into the state after the construction of some link roads to invest in processing of the products." The NEXIM boss responded that the bank would be interested in knowing more about the development of the 800 hectares green zone and how it can key into it and support it together with its partner, Afrexim Bank, with the provision of infrastructure.

Source: https://www.newtelegraphng.com/ka