BusinessDay

CBN, banks, NPA to fix export bottlenecks in 90 days

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders in the non-oil exports have unanimously agreed to find lasting solutions to export bottlenecks within 90 days.

Some of the challenges faced by non-oil exporters are logistics constraints, financing, and regulation issues.

One of the solutions is the creation of an immediate dedicated export route for easy export of goods and services and, in the long run, the creation of a national single window for automation of processes and documentation to enhance the ease of exporting goods and services and consequently earn foreign exchange.

“I want to appeal to NPA, Nigerian custom, that we establish a working group comprising the banker’s committee, the NPA, the customs, shipping line to resolve two issues,” Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, said at the RT200 Non-Oil Export Summit organised by the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee.

He said: “We read about people who want to export goods out of Nigeria queuing for months before their goods can go out. Because time is against us, in the short run, what can the NPA and the Nigerian Customs do for exporters, whether you want to create some sort of dedicated route where they can easily export their goods. “We need those export proceeds badly. It is said that because of 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 the Republic of Benin. Doing this we lose that export proceeds.”

Read also: Nigeria repatriates $3.5bn 2 months after launching rebate scheme – Emefiele

Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of NPA, said: “We need to have one system and that is the national single window. It is a project that has been on stream for over 15 years. And this government has tried to also get it on and implement it. There is a committee chaired by the vice president that has been trying to implement the national single window.

“The national single window is a single platform of interplay where you exchange data, where you feel only one form and that form is enough for Nigerian Customs, standardisation of Nigeria, and so on and so forth.

“It is also a platform where you make payment, whether you are an importer or exporter; if you are paying five government agencies and you are supposed to pay a total of N100,000, and the system automatically distributes the money. I am pleading with the Central Bank of Nigeria and everyone seated here to see this as a national project is really important.”

On February 10, 2022, Emefiele personally unveiled the RT200 FX Program, which is an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee aimed at raising $200 billion in non-oil export earnings over the next three to five years.

“We have recorded a significant increase in non-oil export repatriation, and have paid eligible exporters over N3.5 billion in rebates,” Emefiele said.

“We are gathered here today for the maiden edition of the biannual Non-oil Export Summit to harness ideas on how we can increase the value and volume of export in the country, and improve the availability of foreign exchange therefrom. As things now stand, we really have very little choice left but to look inwards and find innovative solutions to our problems,” he added.

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