Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, has appealed to operators in the non-oil export space to create a dedicated route for exporters.
Emefiele made the appeal at the maiden summit on RT200 Non-oil Export organsied by CBN with the theme, “Setting the Roadmap Toward Achieving RT200 and Non-Oil Exports for Development,” on Thursday in Lagos.
Emefiele said finding an easy route for exporters to send their goods to other countries for sale would allow the country the opportunity to earn export proceeds.
“We have Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Customs Service here, and I want to appeal to you that you establish a working group comprising the bankers committee, customs, shipping lines, to resolve two issues; one is immediate.
“We have read about people who want to export goods out of Nigeria queuing for months or more before their goods can go out because time is against us.
“In the short run, what can NPA and Customs do for the exporters?
“Whether you want to create some sort of dedicated route where they can easily export their goods in the short run, we need those export proceeds badly,” said Emefiele.
He said finding an easy route for manufacturers to export their goods was a problem that must be overcome as Nigerian exporters preferred transporting their goods by road.
“I even hear some buy badges from Lagos to Accra or to Republic of Benin to export from there; doing this, we lose the opportunity of that export proceeds.
“In this working group, Customs, NPA, we will look at the short run and we will look at the long run; we will look at how we will immediately create a dedicated export route for exporters so that their goods can leave,” he said.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended Emefiele for organising the forum to promote non-oil exports in Nigeria.
He noted that Lekki Ports would be ready before the end of the year for the use of all Nigerians.
“I am happy to inform us that before the end of the year, Lagos should be handing over the Lekki Ports for the use of all Nigerians, it will also be able to increase the space for export market.
“Lekki Ports will be the biggest and the deepest deep sea port in the whole of West Africa, if not Africa, and that will give an opportunity, the rightful choices to exports, producers and people in that space.
“Also, I have confirmed that even the Badagry Ports, we are waiting to get the FEC approval, and so, on the Eastern part of Lagos.
“In another couple of years, we should also have Badagry Port,” Sanwo-Olu said.
It will be recalled that the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee in February, unveiled the RT200 programme, a set of plans, policies, and programmes designed to increase the nation’s earnings exclusively from non-oil exports to 200 billion dollars in FX repatriation, within the next five years.
The RT200 initiative is designed to be implemented through five anchors: Value Adding Exports Facility (VEF); Non-Oil Commodities Expansion Facility (NCEF); Non-Oil FX Rebate Scheme (NFRS); Dedicated Non-Oil Export Terminal; and the hosting of a Bi-annual Non-Oil Export Summit.