By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – The Nigeria Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) Tuesday said it supported furniture manufacturer, Alibert Products Nigeria Limited with N1.2 billion between 2013 and 2015, in a bit to encourage locally made products.
The bank since 2013 has supported various small and medium scale enterprises, promote entrepreneurial skills and export financing.
Alibert, which is a leading furniture manufacturing company in Nigeria was first granted a Medium Term Development Loan Facility (MTDLF) of N400 million by the bank in July 2013 and another MTDLF of N800 million in July 2015 to finance the expansion of its factory in Lagos the and setting up of its factory and showroom in Abuja.
Currently Alibert’s Asset volume is to the tune of N8 billion and the N1.2 billion loan from NEXIM is expected to run for five years
NEXIM Acting Managing Director, Mr. Bashiru Ali, said the back funded Alibert with equipment, financing and working capital, during an oversight visit and facility tour by the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency to the company’s factory at Idu Industrial Layout in Abuja, stating that the bank was willing to support local entrepreneurs who are willing to produce quality products and market them.
“This is the type of intervention that we believe will not only bring employment but improve Nigeria’s non-oil foreign exchange earnings.
“NEXIM funded Albert with equipment, finance and working capital and the end result of that funding is what you are seeing here. They operate with over 90 per cent local manpower content and the strategy is to build capacity at the local level, employ people within the immediate environment to ensure that people are gainfully employed” Mr Ali said.
The Alibert Managing Director, Mr. Taan Taan, explained that the company has increased it production in the last six months by 30 per cent despite the current economic crisis. He added that by the end of 2017, the company intends to increase its production by 60 per cent.
The company is currently exporting its products to some West African countries like Ghana, Benin Republic, Cote d’ Ivoire and Senegal and plans are been made by the company to begin the export of its products to the European market.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Committee on Banking of the House of Representatives, Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyerere, said the committee was at the factory to to see if the company was properly utilizing the facility it collected from NEXIM stating that the most important thing is that Alibert is able to repay the loan facility it collected.
“And because the facility is quite huge and whether they are making proper use of the facility; and of course for Nigerians; are they indeed having value for the investment that they have made,” Hon. Jones Onyerere said.