How to Apply for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank Loan

The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), is a financial institution dedicated to fueling the aspirations of enterprises across the nation. NEXIM fulfills its role in facilitating the export of goods and services from Nigeria — through 7 regional offices and its headquarters in Abuja.

In this article, we’ll look into the processes, eligibility criteria, opportunities, and advantages of NEXIM loans, exploring how they can empower your business, drive expansion, and boost your presence in the global market.

Types of Loans Available Through the Nigerian Export-Import Bank

Direct Lending Facility

NEXIM’s Direct Lending Facility empowers the bank to extend loans directly to exporters, offering versatile financing options for businesses. These loans can serve a range of purposes, from fulfilling working capital needs to acquiring equipment and machinery vital for goods production and export.

Importantly, they come with the flexibility of short- or long-term tenors (ranging from 1 to 3 years) and offer both fixed and floating interest rate options. Whether in local or foreign currency, NEXIM can disburse up to 80% of the total project or transaction cost through this facility, making it a valuable resource for exporters.

Foreign Input Facility

Through the Foreign Input Facility, NEXIM partners with participating banks to provide credit for the specific purpose of procuring foreign inputs. This credit can be utilized for both short and long-term requirements and is granted in foreign currency, aligning with the need to import critical raw materials, capital equipment, spare parts, and packaging materials.

To access this facility, businesses must ensure that the local value added in their products exceeds 50%, demonstrating a commitment to value addition within Nigeria.

Local Input Facility

The Local Input Facility is a versatile financing option designed to support businesses in purchasing any input that facilitates the export of goods and services from Nigeria. It can be applied to various objectives, including initiating new export projects, expanding existing factories, or modernizing production plants.

Given that the inputs are locally sourced, credit is extended to exporters in Nigerian Naira (NGN) through participating banks, each with its specific interest rate structure.

The repayment terms can vary between working capital and project-related funding, with possible moratorium periods based on individual circumstances.

Nigerian Creative Arts and Entertainment Industry Loans

NEXIM recognizes the immense potential of Nigeria’s creative and entertainment sectors and has crafted a funding program tailored to this dynamic industry.

This initiative aims to provide financing that supports growth, enhances service quality, generates employment, attracts investments, and broadens Nigeria’s export portfolio by promoting intellectual property and service exportation.

Businesses operating within creative and entertainment sectors such as fashion, film, music, radio, television, and related activities can access this facility.

Interest rates vary based on the specifics of the loan, with loan tenors extending up to 7 years and the possibility of incubation or moratorium periods to aid in financial planning.

Small and Medium Enterprise Export Facility (SMEEF)

SMEEF targets export-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), playing a pivotal role in supporting the non-oil export value chain. Its primary objective is to drive industrialization and the production of value-added goods for export.

Whether for project financing with a maximum loan tenor of 7 years or working capital needs with a loan tenor of 1 year, SMEEF offers financial solutions tailored to SMEs’ distinct requirements.

With a fixed interest rate of 9%, this facility contributes to enhancing productivity and competitiveness in international markets.

Stocking Facility (SF)

The Stocking Facility addresses the specific working capital needs of manufacturers by enabling them to stock local raw materials, especially those with seasonal availability.

Critical for maintaining consistent production levels throughout the year, SF provides working capital in Nigerian Naira (NGN) for a maximum period of 12 months. Interest rates, typically ranging from 14% to 17%, facilitate the timely stocking of raw materials, thus optimizing production efficiency.

Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF)

NEXIM’s Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF) is a specialized initiative aimed at supporting women and youth actively engaged in the non-oil export value chain.

Its overarching goal is to increase access to credit for these demographic groups while fostering national industrialization, job creation, wealth generation, and economic diversification away from oil and gas.

Eligible participants include women and youths aged 18 to 35, as well as cooperatives, non-governmental organizations, trade associations, and registered businesses. Loans under WAYEF can reach a maximum of N50 million, not exceeding 80% of the total project or transaction cost, with loan tenors extending up to 12 months and an interest rate of 9%. This facility represents a targeted approach to inclusive economic growth and diversification.

These diverse loan and financing facilities offered by NEXIM Bank cater to a wide spectrum of business needs, empowering exporters, creative industries, SMEs, and those requiring working capital for various purposes.

Each facility is strategically designed to contribute to economic growth, job creation, and economic diversification within Nigeria. Businesses can assess their eligibility and requirements to leverage these opportunities effectively.

Importance of NEXIM Loans To Businesses In Nigeria

NEXIM loans play a pivotal role in the growth and development of businesses in Nigeria, offering several important benefits and contributions to the country’s economic landscape:

  1. Access to Capital: One of the primary benefits of NEXIM loans is providing businesses with access to much-needed capital. Many businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), often struggle to secure adequate financing from traditional banks. NEXIM steps in to bridge this gap, enabling businesses to fund their operations, invest in expansion, or launch new ventures.
  2. Facilitating Export and Import Activities: NEXIM Bank specializes in providing financial support to businesses involved in export and import activities. These loans are instrumental in boosting Nigeria’s international trade by assisting companies in the export of Nigerian goods and the import of essential raw materials, machinery, and equipment. This, in turn, contributes to the growth of the Nigerian economy and the diversification of its export base.
  3. Promoting Economic Diversification: NEXIM loans often target specific industries and sectors, promoting economic diversification. By supporting businesses in non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and solid minerals, NEXIM contributes to reducing Nigeria’s overreliance on oil revenue, fostering a more balanced and resilient economy.
  4. Job Creation: When businesses receive NEXIM loans to expand their operations, they typically hire more employees to meet the increased demand for goods and services. This job creation not only reduces unemployment rates but also stimulates local economies by increasing consumer spending and boosting income levels.
  5. Enhancing Competitiveness: With NEXIM loans, businesses can invest in modern technology, equipment, and research and development activities. This leads to enhanced competitiveness in both local and international markets, as Nigerian products become more attractive and competitive.
  6. Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): NEXIM Bank recognizes the significance of SMEs in Nigeria’s economic development. It provides tailored loan products and support services to SMEs, helping them overcome financial barriers and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
  7. Infrastructure Development: Some NEXIM loans are directed toward infrastructure projects that benefit businesses indirectly. Improved infrastructure, such as transportation networks and energy supply, reduces operational costs and increases efficiency for businesses, thereby encouraging investment and growth.
  8. Stimulating Export Growth: NEXIM loans often come with favorable terms and conditions, including lower interest rates and longer repayment periods. This encourages businesses to explore export opportunities and expand their international market reach, ultimately contributing to increased export revenues for the country.

NEXIM loans are essential for businesses in Nigeria as they provide access to capital, support economic diversification, create jobs, enhance competitiveness, and stimulate export growth. They catalyze sustainable economic development, helping businesses thrive and contributing to the overall prosperity of the nation.

What Are The Types of loans offered by NEXIM?

The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) offers various types of loans tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses involved in export and import activities, as well as those aiming to boost economic growth in Nigeria.

Here are some of the primary types of loans offered by NEXIM:

  1. Export Development Loans (EDL): These loans are designed to assist Nigerian exporters in financing their export activities. Exporters can use EDLs to cover pre-shipment expenses, working capital needs, and production costs related to fulfilling export contracts. This type of loan helps businesses meet export orders and expand their international market presence.
  2. Import Finance Facility (IFF): NEXIM provides IFF to Nigerian importers, enabling them to access funds for the procurement of raw materials, machinery, and equipment needed for their businesses. This type of loan supports businesses that rely on imported inputs for their operations and manufacturing processes.
  3. Project Finance Facility (PFF): NEXIM offers PFF to businesses involved in infrastructure and developmental projects. This type of loan supports the execution of large-scale projects, such as manufacturing facilities, agribusiness projects, and infrastructure development initiatives. PFF typically has longer repayment periods to align with project timelines.
  4. Export Stimulation Facility (ESF): The ESF is aimed at promoting the development of non-oil exports from Nigeria. It provides financial support to businesses engaged in the export of non-oil products, such as agricultural commodities, solid minerals, and manufactured goods. ESF helps diversify Nigeria’s export base.
  5. Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP): NEXIM collaborates with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to facilitate the ABP, which primarily focuses on supporting smallholder farmers and agribusinesses. Under this program, loans are extended to farmers and agricultural enterprises to enhance food production and reduce food imports.
  6. Manufacturers Export (MANX) Loan: This loan product is targeted at manufacturers looking to expand their production and export capabilities. MANX loans provide financing for the acquisition of machinery, equipment, and technology to boost manufacturing output and competitiveness.
  7. Solid Minerals Loan: NEXIM offers financing to businesses engaged in the exploration, mining, and processing of solid minerals in Nigeria. These loans support the development of the solid minerals sector and contribute to revenue generation for the country.
  8. Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI): NEXIM collaborates with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide loans to businesses in the creative industry, including music, film, fashion, and software development. CIFI aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation within the creative sector.
  9. Women and Youth Export Facility (WAYEF): NEXIM also has specific loan facilities that target women and youth entrepreneurs engaged in export-oriented businesses. These loans provide financial support to empower these demographics in the export sector.

It’s important to note that NEXIM’s loan offerings may evolve, and specific terms and conditions can vary. Interested businesses should contact NEXIM directly or visit their official website for the most up-to-date information on available loan products and eligibility criteria.

How to Apply for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank Loan

Applying for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) loan involves a structured process to ensure that businesses meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation.

Here are the general steps to apply for a NEXIM loan:

  1. Preparation and Eligibility Assessment: Before applying, assess your business to ensure it meets NEXIM’s eligibility criteria. These criteria may include factors such as the nature of your business, the industry you operate in, and your creditworthiness. Review the specific loan product you are interested in to determine if it aligns with your financing needs and business goals.
  2. Contact NEXIM Bank: Reach out to NEXIM Bank to express your interest in applying for a loan. You can visit their website or contact their offices for information on the available loan programs and application procedures.
  3. Consultation and Guidance: Consider scheduling a consultation with NEXIM Bank’s loan officers or representatives. They can provide valuable insights and guidance regarding the loan application process, eligibility requirements, and the documentation needed.
  4. Complete the Application Form: Obtain and fill out the loan application form provided by NEXIM Bank. Ensure that you provide accurate and comprehensive information about your business, its financial status, and the purpose of the loan.
  5. Prepare Required Documentation: Gather all the necessary documentation as specified by NEXIM Bank. Typical documentation may include:
    • Business plan detailing the purpose of the loan and how it will be utilized.
    • Financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
    • Proof of collateral or guarantees, if required.
    • Legal documents such as business registration certificates and licenses.
    • Information on directors, partners, and shareholders of the business.
    • Tax clearance certificates.
    • Ensure that all documents are up-to-date and accurate.
  6. Submit Your Application: Submit your completed loan application form and all required documentation to NEXIM Bank’s designated office or contact point. Be prepared to provide any additional information or clarifications as requested by NEXIM during the evaluation process.
  7. Evaluation and Due Diligence: NEXIM Bank will conduct a thorough assessment of your application, including a credit risk analysis and due diligence. This process may take some time, depending on the complexity of the loan.
  8. Approval and Disbursement: If your loan application is approved, NEXIM Bank will provide you with the loan offer and terms. Carefully review and accept the terms before the loan disbursement. Once you accept the offer, NEXIM Bank will disburse the loan funds to your business account as per the agreed-upon terms.
  9. Loan Repayment: Make timely repayments according to the agreed schedule. Keep accurate records of all loan transactions and repayments.
  10. Compliance and Reporting: Comply with all terms and conditions of the loan agreement, including reporting requirements, if any. Ensure that your business operates in line with the loan’s intended purpose.

It’s essential to maintain open communication with NEXIM Bank throughout the application process and seek clarification on any concerns or questions you may have.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the type of loan and the policies of NEXIM Bank at the time of your application.

Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with NEXIM Bank directly or visit their official website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on applying for a NEXIM loan.

Tips for a Successful NEXIM Application

To increase your chances of a successful application for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) loan, it’s important to follow some key tips and best practices. Here are several tips to help you navigate the application process effectively:

  1. Understand Your Business Needs: Clearly define the purpose of the loan and how it will benefit your business. Understanding your financing needs and having a well-defined plan will make your application more compelling.
  2. Research Loan Programs: Take the time to research and select the most appropriate NEXIM loan program that aligns with your business objectives. Different loan programs have specific eligibility criteria and terms.
  3. Gather Required Documentation: Ensure you have all the necessary documentation in order. This includes financial statements, business plans, legal documents, and any other materials requested by NEXIM Bank. Prepare these documents meticulously and keep them organized.
  4. Maintain Good Credit History: A strong credit history is crucial. Make sure your business has a good credit record and that you, as an applicant, have a good personal credit score. Address any outstanding debts or credit issues before applying for a loan.
  5. Collateral and Guarantees: Understand the collateral requirements for the loan you’re seeking. If collateral is needed, be prepared to provide assets that meet NEXIM’s criteria. Additionally, be aware of any guarantees or co-signers that may be required.
  6. Business Plan Quality: Craft a well-structured and detailed business plan that highlights your business goals, financial projections, repayment strategy, and how the loan will positively impact your business. A strong business plan demonstrates your commitment and vision.
  7. Consultation with NEXIM Representatives: Reach out to NEXIM Bank for guidance and clarification on the application process. Consultation with their representatives can help you understand the specific requirements and expectations.
  8. Compliance and Transparency: Ensure that your business complies with all relevant laws, regulations, and tax obligations. Be transparent in your dealings with NEXIM Bank, providing accurate and complete information.
  9. Demonstrate Your Expertise: Showcase your industry knowledge and expertise in your application. Highlight your experience and qualifications to instill confidence in NEXIM Bank that you can effectively manage the loan.
  10. Financial Health: Maintain a healthy financial standing by managing your finances responsibly. This includes paying bills on time, managing cash flow effectively, and reducing unnecessary expenses.
  11. Repayment Capacity: Assess your ability to repay the loan and demonstrate a clear repayment strategy. Provide realistic financial projections and cash flow analysis to show how you intend to meet your loan obligations.
  12. Engage Legal and Financial Advisors: Consider seeking legal and financial advice to ensure that your loan application and business plan are well-prepared and aligned with industry standards.
  13. Patience and Persistence: Be patient during the application process, as it may take time for NEXIM Bank to evaluate your application. Stay persistent and follow up on your application’s status regularly.
  14. Network and Industry Connections: Leverage your industry network and connections to gain insights, recommendations, and potential support for your loan application.
  15. Review Loan Terms Carefully: Before accepting any loan offer, thoroughly review the terms and conditions, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any associated fees. Ensure you fully understand and are comfortable with the terms.

How To Check Eligibility for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank Loan

Checking eligibility for a Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) loan is an important first step before applying. Eligibility criteria can vary depending on the specific loan program, so it’s essential to review the requirements for the type of loan you are interested in.

Here are the general steps to check your eligibility for a NEXIM loan:

  1. Visit NEXIM Bank’s Official Website: Start by visiting the official website of NEXIM Bank (
  2. Navigate to the Loans and Credit Section: Look for a section or tab on the website that provides information about loans and credit facilities. This section typically outlines the various loan programs offered by NEXIM Bank.
  3. Select the Loan Program of Interest: Choose the specific loan program that aligns with your business needs and objectives. Different loan programs may have distinct eligibility criteria, so it’s important to select the one that suits your requirements.
  4. Review Eligibility Requirements: Within the selected loan program’s webpage or section, you should find detailed information about the eligibility criteria. This information typically includes details such as:
    • Type of businesses eligible (e.g., SMEs, exporters, manufacturers).
    • Industry or sector focus (e.g., agriculture, manufacturing, export-oriented).
    • Minimum and maximum loan amounts.
    • Collateral requirements.
    • Creditworthiness and credit history expectations.
    • Geographic location requirements (e.g., specific regions or states in Nigeria).
    • Any special conditions or preferences for women, youth, or specific target groups.
  5. Assess Your Business Against Eligibility Criteria: Carefully review the eligibility requirements to determine whether your business meets the criteria. Pay close attention to factors such as business size, industry focus, and financial stability.
  6. Contact NEXIM Bank for Clarifications: If you have any questions or need further clarification regarding the eligibility criteria, consider reaching out to NEXIM Bank’s representatives or contacting their customer support. They can provide additional guidance and information.
  7. Consultation with NEXIM Representatives: In some cases, it may be beneficial to schedule a consultation or meeting with NEXIM Bank’s loan officers or representatives. This can help you get a better understanding of the specific requirements and whether your business qualifies.
  8. Prepare Documentation: If you believe your business meets the eligibility criteria, begin preparing the necessary documentation as outlined in the loan program’s requirements. This may include financial statements, business plans, legal documents, and other relevant materials.
  9. Initiate the Application Process: Once you are confident that your business is eligible and you have gathered the required documentation, you can initiate the loan application process as outlined in the loan program’s guidelines.
  10. Follow the Application Steps: Proceed with the loan application process, which typically involves submitting your application form and supporting documents, undergoing evaluation, and eventually receiving a loan offer if your application is approved.

Remember that NEXIM Bank may update its loan programs and eligibility criteria from time to time, so it’s important to check their website or contact them directly for the most current information.

Additionally, be prepared to provide accurate and complete information during the application process to increase your chances of loan approval.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long will it take before receiving funds from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank?

After the submission of an application, processing, and approval may take between 4 – 12 weeks. Where larger funds are involved, applications tend to take longer. In all cases, the timely submission of requested documentation will aid in speeding up the process.

Does the Nigerian Export-Import Bank finance imports?

Yes, NEXIM does finance the imports of capital equipment, raw materials, and other components that shall be used to make goods for export purposes.

What is the interest rate charged on a Nigerian Export-Import Bank loan?

The interest rates charged are linked to the loan facility in question. Interest rates can be as low as 6% and can go beyond 17%. Apart from the interest charges, there may be commitment, administrative, and legal fees to pay.

Does the Nigerian Export-Import Bank give grants?

NEXIM does not normally give grants. However, one of their partner organizations, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) does.

Does the Nigerian Export-Import Bank finance startups?

Yes, NEXIM can fund startups. Generally, for startups, the amount that can initially be borrowed is limited.

Does the Nigerian Export-Import Bank require collateral?

Yes, usually, NEXIM does require collateral. Acceptable forms of collateral may include:

  • Obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN Bonds, FGN Eurobonds, FGN Treasury Bills, etc.)
  • Obligations of state governments or agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria
  • Other non-government debt instruments
  • Physical assets, e.g. real property
  • Third-party guarantors (or collateral)

When was NEXIM Bank established?

NEXIM Bank, officially known as the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, was established on February 28, 1991, by the Nigerian Export-Import Bank Act 1991.

How is NEXIM different from other banks?

NEXIM Bank specializes in providing financial support and services to businesses engaged in export and import activities, as well as those contributing to economic development in Nigeria. It plays a unique role in promoting international trade and economic diversification.

What Facilities are available to the exporter from NEXIM Bank?

NEXIM Bank offers various facilities to exporters, including Export Development Loans (EDL), Export Stimulation Facility (ESF), and other export-oriented financing options. These facilities help businesses in Nigeria engage in and expand their export activities.

What are the costs of the Bank’s Facilities?

The costs of NEXIM Bank’s facilities, including interest rates and charges, may vary depending on the specific loan program and terms. Applicants should refer to the loan program’s guidelines or contact NEXIM Bank for detailed information on costs.

How are the Guarantee Fees charged?

Guarantee fees charged by NEXIM Bank for loan guarantees are typically calculated based on a percentage of the loan amount guaranteed. The specific fee structure may vary, and businesses should inquire about the fees when considering loan guarantees.

Does the Bank disburse facilities only in local currency?

NEXIM Bank provides both local and foreign currency facilities to eligible businesses. The choice of currency depends on the nature of the loan and the business’s needs.

Does the Bank finance Imports?

NEXIM Bank offers Import Finance Facility (IFF) to assist Nigerian importers in financing the procurement of raw materials, machinery, and equipment needed for their businesses.

How do I qualify for a NEXIM Loan?

Eligibility criteria for NEXIM loans may vary depending on the specific loan program. Businesses should review the eligibility requirements for the chosen program, which may include factors such as business type, industry focus, creditworthiness, and more.

How can I apply for a NEXIM loan?

To apply for a NEXIM loan, businesses should visit NEXIM Bank’s official website, select the desired loan program, and follow the application guidelines provided. Documentation and application processes may vary by program.

Are there specific banks through which NEXIM disburses its facility?

NEXIM Bank may work with partner banks and financial institutions to disburse some of its facilities. Applicants should check with NEXIM Bank for information on partner institutions involved in the disbursement process.

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