By Ebere Obike
The unveiling of the RT200 Foreign Exchange Programme, by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Bankers’ Committee would enable the country survive amidst dwindling oil revenue.
This is because the initiative has the potential to general up to US$200 billion in non-oil export earnings over the next 3-5 years.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made this known at RT 200 Non-Oil Export Summit, in Lagos, themed “Setting the Roadmap toward achieving RT200 and non-oil export for development”.
Mr Emefiele explained that Nigerians needed to focus on strategies that could help the nation earn more stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange.
He further explained that after the February 2022 unveiling of the programme, guidelines were issued to give effect to one of the five aforementioned pillars of the initiative including the Non-Oil Forex Rebate Scheme.
According to Mr Emefiele, the scheme is designed to incentivise exporters in the non-oil export sector to repatriate and sell their export proceeds in the local foreign exchange market and earn a rebate.
The CBN Governor said he was optimistic that after the first quarter of implementing the scheme, it has recorded a significant increase in non-oil export repatriation, and has paid eligible exporters over N3.5 billion in rebates.
He noted that the aim of maiden edition of the biannual Non-oil Export Summit was to harness ideas on how the apex bank could increase the value and volume of export in the country, and improve the availability of foreign exchange therefrom.
The Governor of Lagos State, opined that for any initiative to increase non-oil earning, Lagos must be carried alone while other important industries like logistics and transportation should be considered.
Mr Sanwo-Olu also stressed the need for the nation to discourage over-reliance on mono-economic revenue, and scale up its exports, as a situation in which oil and gas consistently account for the bulk of government revenues and foreign exchange earnings, is not ideal.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who commended the Apex bank for organizing the summit to promote non-oil exports in Nigeria expressed delight at hosting the maiden edition of the strategic meeting.