Nigeria has the potential to achieve $200 billion non-oil export revenue target set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the next two to five years, Managing Director of Lotus Bank Limited, Kafilat Araoye, has said.
Speaking during the Lotus Bank Exporters Forum held in Lagos, she said the CBN’s forex earnings target is achievable if the county can explore opportunities in the natural minerals as well as diverse exportable agricultural products in the country.
She said taking these steps can even enable the country to exceed the target, with stakeholders’ backing and collaboration.
Araoye said the country can achieve over $500 billion non-oil export earnings in the next five years with adequate support from stakeholders.
“Before the RT200, some of us have been clamouring for the need to emphasise more on non-oil export to save the country from trade deficit. We need to be made exporters and not just importers,” she said.
” We are happy to cooperate with the CBN, and as a bank, we are going to be supporting the real sector. We will support people who will increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increase it from the perspective of increasing our revenue, which will bring more development for the nation,” she said.
Also speaking on the theme: Identifying and Overcoming the Challenges of Non-Oil Export Trade , CBN Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Ozoemena Nnaji said, the apex bank is willing to partner all stakeholders in order to deliver on the mandate.
The CBN had, earlier this year, introduced the RT200 which is targeted at achieving $200 billion in non-oil export foreign exchange inflow over the next two to five years.
Nnaji noted that, “the key mandate of the CBN is to maintain the external value of the currency and a strategic priority to deliver this mandate is facilitating trade and provision of affordable finance.
“Access to finance has been proven in many countries to be a key driver of exports for commercial activities, which translate to poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Therefore most countries are pursuing this strategy in revamping economic activities after the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CBN’s several intervention have been around value chain development, financing primary production of raw material for the sector, and processing to semi finish and finished products for exports.
“Beyond value chain development, the bank continues to look at other aspects that support the productivity mechanism for the manufacturing sector, ranging from capacity development to infrastructure development to finance inclusiveness, market expansion and development.”
Also speaking on the theme: Driving Non-Oil Exports Through Strategic Partnerships, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yusuf, said that forex policy is critical to trade facilitation, but Nigeria is still not encouraging export.
According to him, rather than encourage export, Nigeria’s forex policy is penalizing export through the imposition of official exchange rate on export proceeds.
He said that exporters lose N182/$ of export proceeds, while liquidity challenges and transparency in allocation of forex remains a big challenge, as well as the forex exclusion list.