By Gift Samuel
Abuja-In a bid to support local production of goods in Nigeria and to reduce unemployment, the Nigeria Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) has disclosed that it has granted the sum of N1.2 billion as Medium Term Facility Loan to a leading furniture manufacturer in Nigeria, Alibert Products Nigeria Limited.
The intervention appears to be apt especially in the face of numerous challenges facing the furniture manufacturing industry in Nigeria presently as it will help to develop Nigeria’s local manufacturing industry and directly translate to improvement in the furniture industry and the country’s economy.
The Acting Managing Director, NEXIM, Mr. Bashiru Ali who spoke on Tuesday at a facility tour of Alibert in Idu Industrial area Abuja, noted that the intervention is a type believed to not only generate employment but will also improve upon the non oil foreign exchange earnings of Nigeria.
He further disclosed that NEXIM funded Alibert with equipment, financing and working capital, adding that the end result of the funding support is evident.
According to him; “The strategy is to build capacity at the local level, employ people within the immediate environment to ensure that people are gainfully employed and also to ensure that the product and skills gathered here will end in production of qualitative products which will compete with any other products from any where in the world”.
Ali however said that NEXIM is out to give support to all in need and those who will produce qualitative products and market them effectively, urging other entrepreneurs to follow the example.
In his remarks, the Chairman,Committee on Banking and Currency, House of representatives Hon. Chukwudi Onyerere noted that the visit is to look into the operations of Alibert and to ensure proper usage of the facility as well as to add value to Nigerians.
While commending the 99 percent local workforce of the company which includes Nigerians selected from the immediate community, he stressed that Alibert should ensure that payment is made on the facility to the government.
Responding, the Founder Alibert, Chief Ta’an noted that the company’s target is on how to produce to satisfy the need of Nigerians and to be able to export non oil items, adding that the company currently exports to more than five African Countries and hopes to include Europe soon.
He also noted that the export of some of his products has helped to generate foreign currency to the country, adding that the quality of the products are 20 times better than Chinese products and 10 times better than Turkish products.
He said; “We started operations here in Abuja eight months ago after existing in Lagos for the past 45 years. We started with 40 people today we are about 230 people and we plan to be about 460 people before the end of 2017. Safety in the company is 100 per cent”.
With the existence of such company, the rate of unemployment has been relatively reduced, local content production increased and quality products which can compete with international standards are being manufactured and in turn exported to bring in foreign exchange.
The Company was granted a Medium Term Development Loan Facility by NEXIM Bank in July 2013 to the sum of N400Million and a Medium Term Facility in July 2015 to the sum of N800 Million to finance the acquisition of equipment to facilitate the expansion of the Company’s factory In Lagos and the setting up of a furniture factory and showroom in Abuja.
Presently, the Asset volume of the company is to a tune of N8 billion and the N1.2 billion loan from NEXIM is expected to run for five (5) years.