The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, and Fidelity Bank Plc Managing Director/CEO Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe yesterday agreed on the potentials of Nigeria’s non-oil export potentials, even as they urged banks and others to tap into that market.
Speaking separately at the RT200 Non-Oil Export Summit 2023 on Tuesday in Lagos and Abuja the duo harped on the need for operators to operate in accordance with the rules and regulations guiding the export market
The summit, with the theme: ‘RT200: Challenges and Prospects,’ was graced by many top Nigerian managers of industry and banks, including the Chairman of Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote etc.
Emefiele said the development of the non-oil export sector is crucial given that it holds vast potential for generating a significant amount of foreign exchange earnings.
He said the CBN regularly monitors and appeals to exporters to document their exports and repatriate proceeds so it can be utilized for the benefit of the country’s economy. He added that the apex bank was aware that some people try as much as possible to sidetrack the process by attempting to export their cargo without documentation.
“About three years ago, I had a meeting at the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos with the shipping lines. I had said the Central Bank will be beaming some satellites on undocumented exports. We had advised the shipping lines at that meeting that we will also be monitoring and if we find that they export cargo without documentation that we will penalise them including placing their accounts on post-no-debit (PND).
“We have so far not done anything like that just because we feel that the shipping lines will be responsible to do what is right. But, if we do not see the kind of cooperation that we expect, I’d have to insist that we do what we need to do.”
Emefiele said earnings from non-oil exports increased by 40 percent from $3 billion in 2021 to $5.6 billion at the end of 2022.
According to the CBN Governor, “Today, I am happy to note that the RTX 200 programme has led to tremendous progress in export proceeds repatriation since its establishment in February 2022.”
Speaking on the experience of Fidelity Bank Plc, its CEO, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe maintained that although it had been with expected challenges but noted that the opportunities are there for every serious investor and financial institution that want to do things right.
She therefore urged all and sundry who are interested in boosting their profits in the non-oil sector to work with financial institutions that know the way and enable their success in the sector, adding that there are important keys one needs to have to ably prosper in the non-oil export market.
Onyeali-Ikpe express thanks to the CBN for their usual support and urged Nigerian exporters and potential investors of the export market that the nation must put hands on the deck to ensure that the window of opportunity that is now open in that market is well exploited to the benefit of all and sundry