THE Senate has acknowledged the laudable achievements of the Executive Director (Business Development) of Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) and Delta Ministerial Nominee, Stella Okotete.
The upper chamber lauded her achievement in growing the non-oil exports and business fortunes of the bank.
The commendation came after the Senator representing Delta Central, Ede Dafinone, moved a motion at the ongoing ministerial screening exercise, urging his colleagues to allow Okotete take a bow and leave.
Dafinone, while moving the motion, said he had had opportunity of working with Okotete during his one year stay as Non-Executive Director with NEXIM, adding that the nominee was the engine room of the internationally reputable bank.
“What the nominee did not mention was that her position as the Executive Director of Business Development Unit means she was at the engine room of the bank. The Business Development Unit is the operational department of the NEXIM Bank.
“So, she was in charge of the operations of the bank and in that capacity, she was able to grow the balance sheet of the bank and she has done exceptionally well.
“I want to add also that as a young woman, she has also favoured the youth and women in her policies at the bank, aside the policies she had done at home, encouraging young people in various departments and empowerment Programmes.
“She has also been instrumental in growing non-oil exports and as at today, the non-oil exports are the key focus of this administration.
“My colleagues said she has distinguished herself already, what I need to add is that I speak for my two colleagues from Delta who are both fully in support of the nominee.
“I ask distinguished members, if the nominee from Delta, can please be recognised for her good work in NEXIM Bank, with the background that, she has served one complete term at NEXIM Bank and that the term has been renewed about a year ago.
“This shows she has distinguished herself at the bank. With that, I urge that distinguished members, do ask the nominee from Delta to please take a bow.
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, also attested to the role of Okotete in women and youth development as former Woman Leader of the ruling party, APC.
He said: “Honestly, when she mentioned that she was a women leader of the greatest party in Africa, I just remembered that we are all from political parties and in normal circumstances, the party is supreme”.
Akpabio also went further to ask the nominee to take a bow and the response was in affirmative with overwhelming and resounding ‘AYES’.
Earlier, while giving a short profile of herself, the nominee, who was born in 1984, took the Senate through the journey of her career and achievements recorded, especially in women and youth development, as well as her exploits at the NEXIM Bank.
“The immediate past President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammad Buhari, in 2017, found me worthy and appointed me, in line with the Act of Export and Import Bank, Sections 11, 8 and 14, as Executive Director of NEXIM bank in charge of Business Development.
“The functions of the ED Business Development of the bank, which I still hold till date, is to drive the business directorate of the bank, to create quality risk assets and to also provide funding for exporters in the non-oil sector.
“When we resumed in 2017, we met a balance sheet size of N67 billion. We had grown it to N256 billion by 2022 when our tenure got renewed.
“We also met a bank that was already recording loses, year-in, year-out for three years.
“As at 2016, the bank had recorded over N6 billion losses. Today, the Nigerian Export and Import Bank is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other global export banks and profitably as one of the leading export credit institutions in Africa.
“I was also the women representative, popularly known as the Woman Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee in 2020.
“As Woman Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress at that time, I was able to bring to bear, quality representation to our women and we established new policy that helped shape visibility for our women across board.
“One of it is the Progressive Women Academy, which was approved by the Apple Store and Google Store.
“It is an online academy where women can learn various self-skills to make themselves not just visible in the business space but also in politics.” (NAN)