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 Fidelity Bank To Use Bond Proceed On Agric, SMEs Development

Fidelity Bank Plc has said it foresees an imminent growth in non-oil export as more Nigerians, governments begin to wake up to the huge prospects inherent in the Agricultural and Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) sectors.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, made this remark at a one-day workshop/training on exports organised by Koinonia Ventures Limited in conjunction with the bank.

According to a statement from the lender, he expressed high optimism that these sectors, if properly positioned could play significant roles in diversifying Nigeria’s monolithic economy.

Okonkwo, however, pointed out that no other time is the subject of import and export substitution more important than now when the country is grappling with a revenue crisis precipitated by the steep decline in crude oil prices and widespread corruption.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has predicted that Nigeria’s non-oil sector will generate about $100 billion in export earnings in the next 12 years.

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To assist export oriented MSMEs raise their level of competitiveness in the global market, Okonkwo said the bank had raised N30 billion in corporate bonds on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

He said the capital raising exercise is expected to enable the bank fulfill its promise to increase MSME lending to 50 per cent by 2017, adding that the bank has earmarked 80 per cent of the net proceed of the bond to finance MSMEs, which have been peddled as the next cash cow.