Emefiele, bank chiefs and others chart ways to change the game
June 18 (THEWILL) – Leading banks, industrialists, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has launched initiatives to update the historic RT 200 FX program aimed at increasing non-oil foreign currency earnings.
During the “RT200 Non-oil Export Summit 2022” held in Lagos on Thursday, June 16, 2022, with the theme “Setting the roadmap towards realizing RT200 and non-oil exports for development”, Emefiele drew attention to the eternal forex challenge plaguing the economy, which gave rise to the RT200 regime, as a way out.
He emphasized that the meeting was a problem-solving meeting and ensured that every complaint, challenge or obstacle identified must have a practical solution.
He left no doubt about the passion to make the RT200 dream a reality in an event he participated in from start to finish and provided input at the end of each segment. Speakers, panelists and moderators followed the same path of identifying obstacles to the effective implementation of the initiative on non-oil foreign exchange gains launched four months earlier, much to the delight of participants.
The “RT200 FX Program”, which stands for the “Race for US$200 Billion in Currency Repatriation”, aims to secure US$200 billion in non-oil currency (FX) repatriation over the next 3-5 years, on the basis of stipulated guidelines. . During the unveiling of the program on February 10, 2022, Emefiele explained that “The RT200 FX program is a set of policies, plans and programs for non-oil exports that will enable the country to achieve its ambitious but achievable target of 200 billion dollars in foreign currency”. repatriation, exclusively from non-oil exports, over the next 3-5 years”.
To ensure effective implementation through targeted deliverables, the RT200 FX initiative is anchored on five pillars: Value Added Export Facility, Non-Oil Commodity Expansion Facility, Non-Oil Currency Reimbursement Program , Dedicated non-oil export terminal and Semi-annual non-oil export. Summit. Each of these anchors represents an implementation channel that addresses each applicable aspect with measurable clues.
The one-day event which drew attendees from the financial services industry, manufacturers, exporters, shipping companies, regulators and other stakeholders, was the fifth of the pillars on which the program is anchored: “Half-year summit of non-oil exports”.
In his talk, Emefiele explained that the RT200 FX program was born out of the realization that most of our current sources of currency inflows are unreliable and constantly subject to the exogenous vicissitudes of global economic developments.
“In order to avoid these sudden adjustments in our economic life, we needed to focus on strategies that can help us gain more stable and sustainable currency inflows. We should follow the best practices of other countries and make sure that we protect ourselves a bit from factors that are beyond our immediate control,” Emefiele said.
For example, he mentioned the ever-changing fortunes of oil-exporting countries which he said would not spare those with a reputation for managing their oil revenues well, as they would also suffer major shocks once oil prices would fall.
Recalling that the RT200 FX effectively kicked off within two months of its launch with the payment of a total of N3.5 billion in rebates to 150 exporters who had participated in the program so far, the CBN Governor pointed out that the measure should convince the stakeholders. that the program was not put in place to attract strong rhetoric but to be implemented to achieve results.
“As a continuation of the implementation of the program, we are gathered here today for the first edition of the semi-annual non-oil export summit to harness ideas on how we can increase the value and volume of exports into the country and improving the availability of foreign currency that comes with it. As things stand, we really have no choice but to look inward and find innovative solutions to our problems” , did he declare.
Emefiele also said the Nigerian economy has been challenged on many fronts in recent years due to a combination of local and global factors.
He said: “Disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in global logistics value chains and local security issues have put undue pressure on our economy, making macroeconomic management very difficult.
“These factors have impacted oil production and prices, disrupted trade and exports, reduced capital inflows and impacted food production. They also exposed the fragility of the Nigerian economy and the need for a more diversified economy.
“Yet in the face of these challenges, the Central Bank of Nigeria has been faced with an increasing demand for foreign currency for goods, services and other needs. With this constant demand, the Bank has endeavored to manage both demand and supply to meet foreign exchange obligations.
Lamenting the bottlenecks affecting the smooth flow of exports through the ports, he pleaded with key players to support the CBN in its efforts to develop the economy by boosting non-oil exports. He insisted that practical solutions were identified for each problem and time-bound in many cases. He indicated what the contribution of the REC would be during the panel presentations.
Presentations were made on “Addressing Logistics Constraints to Improve Non-Oil Exports”; “Filling Financial Gaps, Effects of CBN Initiatives to Boost Non-Oil Exports”; “Performance of Non-Oil Exports in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects” and “Service Industries: Harnessing Service Opportunities for Foreign Exchange Earnings”.
A key outcome was the decision by the CBN, banks and the Nigerian Ports Authority to resolve export bottlenecks at the port within 90 days. The apex bank, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other non-oil export stakeholders, agreed to find sustainable solutions to export bottlenecks, particularly in the port areas, within 90 days.
Noting that logistical constraints, financing and regulatory issues were among the challenges faced by non-oil exporters, key participants agreed that immediate solutions needed to be found to address the issues.
One of the solutions is the creation of an immediate dedicated export channel to facilitate the export of goods and services and, in the long term, the creation of a national single window for the automation of processes and documentation. in order to improve the ease of exporting goods and services and consequently earn foreign exchange.
“I want to appeal to the NPA, the Nigerian custom, that we establish a task force comprising the Bankers Committee, NPA, Customs, Shipping Company to resolve two issues,” the CBN Governor said during the meeting. RT200 Non-Oil Export summit organized. by the CBN and the Committee of Bankers.
He added: “We have read of people wishing to export goods out of Nigeria queuing up for months before their goods can come out. Because time is against us, in the short term, what can the Nigeria Ports Authority and Nigeria Customs do for exporters, whether you want to create some kind of dedicated road where they can easily export their goods. “We desperately need these export earnings.
It is said that due to finding an easy route for goods to be exported out of the country, Nigerian exporters prefer to transport by road, from Lagos to Accra, to Benin Republic. By doing that, we lose that export product.
In his speech, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko said, “We need one system and that is the National Single Window. This has been an ongoing project for over 15 years. And this government also tried to set it up and implement it. There is a committee chaired by the vice-president that is trying to set up the national one-stop shop.
“The National Single Window is a one-stop interaction platform where you exchange data, where you only feel one form and this form is enough for Nigeria Customs, Nigeria Standardization, etc.
“It is also a platform where you make the payment, whether you are an importer or an exporter; if you pay five government agencies and you are supposed to pay a total of N100,000, and the system automatically distributes the money. I am advocating with the Central Bank of Nigeria and everyone sitting here to see this as a national project is really important.
Emefiele said the event must produce results so that “at the next summit we should show what we have done, what we have achieved and why we have failed to achieve what we set out to do” .