Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Almona, said the FX Repatriation (RT200 FX Programme) requires the right policies, critical export infrastructure, international trade diplomacy, and adequate funding to achieve the desired results.
She said since the programme’s major pillars are built on the five key anchors of Value-Adding Exports Facility, Non-Oil Commodities Expansion Facility, Non-Oil FX Rebate Scheme, Dedicated Non-Oil Export Terminal, and Bi-annual Non-Oil Export Summit, there was the need to enlighten the public, especially experienced and potential exporters, on the programmes to enhance their participation.
“One major challenge in Nigeria’s export chain is the unstructured procedures that cause delays, corruption, and rejection of exports,” she said.
These facilities should be well directed to process targeted products in which Nigeria has some comparative advantage such as sesame, cashew, cocoa into finished goods. The reason for the low forex revenue from exports is due to the export of primary unprocessed commodities,” Almona said in a statement.
To achieve the RT 200 FX, she canvassed the establishment of a trading system that supports the seamless flow of trade, infrastructure, and create awareness for exploring the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), adding that under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Targeted Credit Facility.
Almona called for deeper stakeholder consultation and collaboration with the organised private sector in the implementation of this programme.
Also, a former LCCI Director-General, Dr. Muda Yusuf, also welcomed the latest initiative of the Bankers Committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to strengthen the supply side of the foreign exchange market.
While commending the new focus of the CBN on supply side strategy, he said the reality is that supply side policies are more critical and impactful than demand management interventions in the foreign exchange market.
According to him, over the last couple of years, the CBN has been fixated on managing the demand side of the foreign exchange market, which unfortunately, has led to suboptimal outcomes.
On critical success factors of the RT 200 initiative, he said structural issues are very vital for driving the growth and competitiveness of non-oil exports, adding that structural variables are not within the purview of the CBN or the Bankers Committee.
Criticising the pricing regime he contended that exporters should be granted access to their export proceeds and called on the CBN to widen its sources of foreign exchange portfolio and inflows from Foreign Direct investment (FDI’s), Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDA’s), Diaspora remittances, oil companies and multi- lateral agencies.