Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Thursday, December 7, 2017 - Page 31

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017 business & 31 economy C’River’s N1.3tn budget achievable, says NEXIM Bank MD T he N 1 . 3 t n p r o p o s e d budget for 2018 presented by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River to the state House of Assembly is attainable, so says the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export and Import Bank, Mr. Abba Bello. Bello stated this on Wednesday in Calabar at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and a financial service agreement between the bank and the state government. While expressing delight at the ambition and aggression being shown by the state with regards to its industrialisation drive, he stated the commitment of NEXIM Bank to help the state get the funds to actualise its 2018 budget. Bello stated, “This is the first time a state government in Nigeria will present a budget of N1.3tn. It, therefore, becomes very important that the state will be able to achieve the revenue that will support the expenditure. “I was taught earlier in my career that to achieve dreams, you have to be audacious and I believe that you start with having a target, and for you, the target today is the budget. I must stand behind you sir to ensure that the budget is achieved.” Bello said NEXIM Bank had gone ahead to start attracting investments into the state even before the signing of the financial service agreement with the government. He added, “We have already contacted some investors in the garment industry and already, three Spanish companies have indicated interest in the Cross River State Garment Factory and I believe that we should be able to close that deal immediately. “As we were coming, we brought one of our customers that is innovative, in the sense that it is an outsourcing company. We supported them and encouraged them to move part of their call centres to Cross River State and on that basis, we have visited the Tinapa Knowledge City and they have expressed willingness to start work that will create employment for 1,000 youths.” W’Bank Board to consider $1bn for Nigeria’s power sector Everest Amaefule, Abuja F ederal Government officials and their World Bank counterparts on Wednesday agreed on the necessary steps to be taken before the presentation of Nigeria’s request for $1bn for consideration by the executive board of the institution. In a statement issued after a meeting in Abuja, the World Bank said it was committed to supporting the Federal Government’s Power Sector Recovery Programme on which the money would be spent. The statement read in part, “The World Bank delegation informed the Federal Government that it was pleased with progress in implementing the early actions of the PSRP. “The World Bank is committed to assisting the Federal Government with programme implementation, working closely with the PSRP Implementation Monitoring Team, which reports directly to the Vice President of Nigeria. “The World Bank will continue the preparation of the proposed $1bn performance-based loan to support the programme. The Federal Government and the World Bank Group agreed on the necessary next steps to present the PBL to the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for their consideration.” The statement also quoted the comments of the various top government officials, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on the power sector programme. Osinbajo was quoted to have said, “This administration is fully committed to implementing the PSRP. We believe that the PSRP is the clearest pathway to reform the power sector and its success is contingent on a strict adherence to performance and programme implementation monitoring, which I will continue to give a priority from my office. “It (PSRP) is an intervention that we have been working on in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and the World Bank.” “We are very confident that this laudable and vital programme will make a fundamental difference in the economy in particular and the country in general,” the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was quoted to have said. 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