Business & Economy - Companies - National - News - November 30, 2022

Non-oil export earnings rise with $4.99bn from CBN’s RT 200 FX policy

By Bassey Udo

Earnings from non-oil exports grew third quarter of the years as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Race to $200 Billion in Foreign Exchange (FX) Repatriation (RT200) yielded over $4.987 billion for the period.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this Emefiele disclosed this in a keynote he sent to the second bi-annual Non-Oil Export Summit in Lagos on Tuesday said the earning was significantly higher than about $3.19 billion repatriated into the country last year.

The apex Bank in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee rolled out the RT200 programme in February 2022 to help raise 200 billion dollars in Foreign Exchange (FX) earnings from non-oil proceeds over the next five years.

The major anchor of the programme was the Non-Oil Export proceeds repatriation Rebate Scheme designed to incentivise exporters in the non-oil export sector to encourage repatriation and sale of export proceeds into the foreign exchange market.

Giving further detail on the earning, the CBN governor explained that out of the total $4.99 billion, only $1.966 billion qualified for the rebate scheme, with only $1.559 billion sold at the Investors & Exporters (I&E) window or for CBN official use.

Also, he said additional N81 billion was paid out as rebates to Nigerian exporters in different sectors of the economy.

Speaking on the summit theme: RT200 Non-Oil Export Programme: The Journey So Far,” Emefiele demanded for greater collaboration among stakeholders, as well as effective coordination on policies to boost the economic activities in the non-oil sector of the economy.

“Export could transform the economic structure of countries from simple, slow-growing, and low-value activities to more productive activities that enjoy more significant margins driven by technology,” he said.

He pointed out that now was the time for all stakeholders to work together to reposition the country’s economy on the path of sustainable growth, by taking seriously the diversification of the economic base.

Policymakers, he said, must help exporters and the economy to realise their objective through value addition on what the country is able to produce and export.

He pledged to ensure that the CBN worked more to complement the effort of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment to boost the country’s non-oil export.

He emphasized the need for a more diversified economy, adding that there was need to improve on the country’s transport infrastructure, from roads to the ports, to facilitate the ease of transporting goods for export.

He disclosed that the feedback from banks in the country was that there was enough interest by exporters to add value to the products they export, to allow them to benefit from the rebate programme.

Emediele, therefore, encouraged more exporters to find ways to add value to their exports so as to benefit from the scheme and get greater value for their exports.

The apex bank’s chief reiterated the CBN’s commitment to strengthen and expand the foreign exchange supply into the market, to ensure that every stakeholder with a critical role to play in expanding the economy had access to the supply of foreign exchange to continue their business.

Assuring exporters of the support of the Bankers’ Committee and the CBN, Emefiele said both were determined to partner with them to achieve their export goals and to ensure quick acceleration of the export value chain in the country.

Meanwhile, the CBN governor also encouraged others yet to benefit from many financial programmes introduced by the CBN to approach their respective banks to explore ways to boost their capacity to grow their businesses.

He urged participants in the summit to share innovative ideas and suggestions for exploring the non-oil export sector as a more sustainable means of increasing financial flows into the economy and generating employment to spur sustainable growth.

On the achievements in the automation and digitization of the trade processes in Nigeria, Emefiele commended the Bank’s stakeholders, including the Nigeria Customs Services, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and Nigerian exporters for their support, noting that all hands must be on deck to find solutions to more robust export growth in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, lauded the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee for keeping their collective promise to keep supporting the efforts by the Federal Government and states, especially Lagos, to promote growth in the economy, with emphasis on job creation.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that work on the Lekki Deep Seaport had been completed, adding that the project would be inaugurated by the President in January 2023, to finally provide enormous opportunities for exporters to ply their trade and improve the export earnings of the country, especially in the non-oil sector.

He assured stakeholders that the Lagos State Government would continue to provide the opportunities for businesses to thrive, urging stakeholders to continue to promote a public-private partnership that will drive growth in the economy.

In her welcome remarks, the Deputy Governor in charge of Financial Systems Stability, Aishah Ahmad, highlighted the objectives of the RT 200 programme, stressing that the policy was designed to incentivize exporters in the non-oil export sector to repatriate and sell their export proceeds in the local foreign exchange market.

The maiden edition of the bi-annual summit was held in Lagos on June 16, 2022. The RT200 FX Programme is anchored on five pillars, namely: Value-Adding Exports Facility; Non-Oil Commodities Expansion Facility; Non-Oil FX Rebate Scheme; Dedicated Non-Oil Export Terminal; and Biannual Non-Oil Export Summit.

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