The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced policies, plans and programmes for non-oil exports that will enable Nigeria earn 200 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange repatriation.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the announcement virtually at post-Bankers’ Committee news briefing on Thursday to unveil new initiatives to boost the nation’s economy.
Emefiele said the measure became imperative due to the fact that the export of primary unprocessed commodities could not yield much in foreign exchange.
He said that the country would not continue to put all its hopes on earnings from crude oil.
Emefiele said that even if the country depends on crude oil, it would not again be a source through which it earns foreign exchange to fund her foreign exchange import obligations.
“After careful consideration of the available options and wide consultations with the banking community, the CBN is effective immediately, announcing the Bankers’ Committee “RT200 FX Programme,” which stands for the “Race to US$200 billion in FX Repatriation.
“The RT200 FX Programme is a set of policies, plans and programmes for non-oil exports that will enable us attain our lofty yet attainable goal of 200 billion U.S. dollars in FX repatriation, exclusively from non-oil exports, over the next three to five years,” he said.
Emefiele said that the RT200 Programme would have the following five key anchors: 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.
“In order to avoid these sudden adjustments to our economic life, we need to focus on strategies that can help us earn more stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange,” he said.
The CBN governor said, however, that he was resolute and determined that Nigeria could achieve her goal, saying though it might appear unattainable to some.
Emefiele noted that many countries much less endowed than Nigeria were doing it, thereby expressing the belief that Nigeria could do so if not more.
He said, “Consider for example that agriculture exports alone from the Netherlands was about 120 billion U.S dollars last year. Yet, Netherlands has a land mass of about 42,000 square kilometres, which is much smaller than the land mass of Niger alone, at over 76,000 square kilometres.”
He explained that the RT200 Programme was not intended to be a silver bullet to all of Nigeria’s problems in the export segment of the economy.
Emefiele said that the programme was a first step meant to ensure that the CBN was able to carry out its mandate in an effective and efficient manner.
This, he said, would guarantee preservation of our scarce commonwealth and the stability of the nation’s currency, the Naira.
“It is only by boosting productive and earnings capacity of this economy that we can truly preserve the long-term value of our currency, as well as the stability of our exchange rate,” Emefiele said.