For turning the Nigerian Export-Import Bank he met in 2009 from a debt-ridden organisation to a profit-making venture, Roberts Orya, managing director of NEXIM Bank, has been rewarded with a new five-year mandate
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Sep. 1, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
THE repositioning of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, from a debt-ridden to a profit-making venture by Roberts Orya, the managing director, has earned him another five years in office. A. M. Daniel-Nwaobia, permanent secretary, federal ministry of finance, said in a reappointment letter dated August 18, 2014, that Orya would continue to lead the bank for another five-year term.
“I write to convey the approval of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, for your re-appointment as Managing Director/CEO of NEXIM Bank for a final period of five (5) years. The re-appointment is with effect from 17th August, 2014. Please accept the congratulations of the coordinating minister for the economy and honourable minister of finance,” the letter stated.
The finance ministry credits Orya with transforming NEXIM from a bank with over N10 billion non-performing loan liability in August 2009, to an institution with a capacity to provide about $39.5 billion in financial intervention and guarantees to support non-oil export activities in the country. “In 2009, the loans portfolio of the bank was about N14.6 billion, out of which about 72 percent was non-performing, with about N10.03 billion, or 69.05 percent classified lost, in line with the prudential guidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, apart from declaring profits to its shareholders consistently for the past four years, NEXIM also provided support that helped create over 24,000 direct jobs capable of generating an estimated foreign exchange of $320.12 million annually to the Nigerian economy.
Orya, who was first appointed NEXIM Bank managing director in August 2009, has since led the transformation of the bank, returning it to profitability after years of losses under a mass agenda, which focuses on four key sectors: manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals, and services.
Among his numerous achievements is the rescuing of the soul of NEXIM from bad debts and transforming it from a loss to a profit-oriented organisation. Orya said in a recent interview with Realnews that his vision was to make NEXIM the leading export development bank in Africa and help Nigeria overcome the problems associated with the menace of crude oil theft and illicit mining activities in the country.
“The primary mandate of NEXIM is to diversify the economy of Nigeria and move away from oil. So we have now focused on what kind of intervention should we do on non-oil that can generate jobs for Nigerians for a change and can support exports? Looking at the paucity of funds we had, it was not possible for us to intervene in all sectors. So, we decided to look at those sectors that have more potentials in terms of job creation, generation of foreign exchange for Nigeria, creating wealth, alleviating poverty and unlocking some of the potentials. So we basically looked at manufacturing, agro processing because we believe that gone are those days when Africans were exporting raw commodities. A time has come when we need to add value. In the process of value addition, we create jobs for our people. We are also looking at mining, you know that mining is an area that has huge potentials that nobody has been able to even look at,” he said.
The NEXIM boss has more than 29 years’ experience in banking and finance, covering investment, commercial and mortgage banking. His banking career began in February 1984 when he joined International Merchant Bank, IMB, Plc, where he worked till September 1990 before leaving to join Credit Bank of Nigeria Limited as a pioneer staff. Orya was then seconded to Prime Merchant Bank Limited in July 1991 as head of foreign operations and subsequently to Pace Mortgage Finance Limited in October 1992 as the general manager/chief executive officer.
Thereafter, he joined Lobi Bank of Nigeria Limited in January 1994, where he rose to become the managing director and executive chairman in January 1998 before being reassigned to Premier Commercial Bank Plc as an executive director. Orya was also an executive director in charge of Capital Markets, financial advisory services, research and strategy with Afribank Capital Limited; associate member, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and London; Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of Management, NIM.