According to reports, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said the federal government is working on ensuring that the country’s exports are not only raw materials but also processed goods to allow the country earn more foreign exchange.
Adeosun who noted that Nigeria’s export is not raking in enough foreign exchange as it ought to said concerted efforts are ongoing to ensure that raw materials are processed for added value before they are exported out of the country.
Speaking at the launch of the FirstGem, a new financial product of First Bank Nigeria Limited targeted at women entrepreneurs in the country, the minister of finance said “Nigeria losses a lot of things in exporting unprocessed raw material and this is because we do not have the power and capacity to process them before exporting.
“This is the reason government is working towards building infrastructure so that we can process our goods before exporting to earn more foreign exchange. We can only grow our economy and create jobs this way” she stated.
The finance minister noted that government is confident that the country would soon bounce out of recession adding that “Nigerians are resilient. While commending the FirstGem initiative, she said women entrepreneurs need to be supported in every way.
On her own part, wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, while noting that women have a strength of character and capacity to multitask and be enterprising, said “as strong as she is, she needs help often and I am glad that First Bank has taken this initiative to reach out to women entrepreneurs.
Also speaking at the launch of FirstGem, Tara Durotoye, founder of House of Tara urged women entrepreneurs to build businesses that can function when they are not there. She likewise advised that entrepreneurs whilst building their businesses should endeavor to build their personal finance so that they do not “run multimillion businesses and still be broke.”
Chairman of First Bank board of directors, Mrs Ibukun Awosika whilst speaking on the new offering said with FirstGem, female customers can access support funds for their total financial wellbeing, free business advisory to meet their economic needs and aspirations, specialized trainings on business development initiatives, regular information and insight on business opportunities in various sectors and industries as well as tremendous discounts at merchant outlets that offer lifestyle products and services amongst other benefits.
The bank said FirstGem comes in variants of Savings and Current accounts and it is designed to benefit women professionals, entrepreneurs, SMEs, women in paid employment as well as low income earners, traders and artisans.