Determined to frontally address inadequate foreign exchange in the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an initiative named, RT200 Programme, to stimulate non-oil exports, with a $200 billion FX income target in the next three to five years.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced the initiative at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting, in Abuja, this afternoon.
Under the programme, the CBN, working with the Money Deposit Banks, is to fund the construction of dedicated non-oil export terminals, to eliminate the delays currently experienced by exporters.
It would also provide loans to companies for value-addition and production of finished goods for export at 5 per cent for a 10-year period, with two years of moratorium.
Other key features of the programme, according to the CBN boss included Non-Oil Commodities Expansion Facility; Non-Oil FX Rebate Scheme; and Biannual Non-Oil Export Summit.
Rather than exporting raw cocoa, with minimal export proceeds, Mr Emefiele said that his team would fund companies to produce chocolate in the country.
He said that cashew processing, currently at a mere 5 per cent of the nation’s production, as well as, sesame seeds processing would be prioritised.
Meanwhile, some Nigerian importers have earlier reacted to the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria requiring foreign suppliers to register on a CBN portal and operate a pricing system regulated by the bank.
The new policy is bound to lead to scarcity of goods in the country and will trigger inflation, they warned.
The CBN in January announced new guidelines for international trade, asking importers and exporters to submit e-invoice of all their transactions in place of hard copies they submitted before. They are also to pay $350 annually as subscription fee.
The e-invoices, authenticated by commercial banks, will be uploaded to the Nigerian Single Window portal – Trade Monitoring System.
But the most controversial aspect of the policy is the requirement for foreign companies selling to Nigerian importers to directly register on a portal operated by the CBN. They are expected to provide their profiles, financial details and their pricing.