The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed hope that export proceeds for rebate would hit the $1 billion mark by the fourth quarter of 2022.
According to NAN, this was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while addressing a press conference on the outcome of the 13th annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat in Lagos.
The retreat which had the theme, ‘Increasing the productive base of the Nigerian economy and non-oil export revenues,’ provided a unique platform for the Bankers’ Committee to conduct a recap of major banking system activities in the year.
It also provided them with the opportunity to look at some of the global and local developments they thought impacted the banking and financial system landscape in Nigeria in the coming year.
Progress so far: Emefiele who said that tremendous progress had been made in generating non-oil export revenues in 2022, noted that the RT200 programme started in February 2022.
He said, ‘During the six weeks in February and March when the programme started, rebates of N65 have given export proceeds repatriation that earned rebate was about $62 million.
“This is not export proceeds that did not earn rebates. Let’s not forget the rebate is only meant for processed goods. So, by the time we add both processed and unprocessed goods like unprocessed cocoa and cashew, we actually ran into almost $1 billion during the third quarter.
“And we are beginning to think that we should be able to continue to ramp up. We are looking hopefully in the fourth quarter, which we will be seeing in January, we hope that we should be able to hit over a billion dollars in export proceeds and repatriations that will qualify for the rebate.”
Before RT200: Emefiele recalled that the apex bank threatened banks to begin to source for foreign exchange to meet the needs of their customers and not entirely rely on CBN sources, before the commencement of the RT200.
He said: “But seeing the progress that has been made so far, we are talking about $62 million plus $622 million plus $850 million, we are talking of almost two billion dollars.
“So far, we think that with the good progress and on the basis of the progress that has been made so far, the CBN will continue to support the market with foreign exchange, albeit as hard as it may be.
“We will continue to support the market while banks themselves continue to ramp up their own sources of non-oil export that can earn foreign exchange through repatriation, which they can use to fund the needs of their customers.’’
Minimum annual lending to exporters: the CBN governor noted that the Bankers’ Committee also announced minimum annual lending of N500 billion to exporters.
He explained that there is a need to continue to support exporters who may need facilities either to bring in equipment with which they can process their goods and make them a high standard that can qualify for export abroad and earn higher value so as to boost the volume of export repatriations.
He said, “So, the Bankers’ Committee decided that every year and it should be measurable, the entire banking industry must grant at least a minimum of N500 billion in loans to export-oriented companies that will generate measurable export receipts, non-oil export proceeds that will complement what the CBN is doing.’‘
He added that the CBN will come up with modalities where it will insist that bank A should grant a minimum of X amount in export loans and naturally the big banks will have to take a bigger share of this piece