Nigeria: In Face of Oil Theft, CBN’s RT200 Initiative Records $4.987bn Inflow

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) RT200 (Race to $200 billion forex inflows), which is an initiative that aims to boost non-oil exports has recorded $4.987 billion forex inflows in 2022.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed the feat achieved by its RT200 initiative yesterday, said the amount recorded so far this year, was an increase from the $3.190 billion recorded in 2021.

Emefiele said this at the second RT200 Bi-annual Non-oil Export Summit in Lagos, with the theme: ‘RT200 Non-Oil Export Program: The Journey So Far.”

This was cheering news coming on the heels of the challenge posed by crude oil theft which hindered oil production in some terminals and affected the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s (NNPCL) ability to remit forex to the federation account.

Just last Friday, Emefiele had while speaking in Lagos, disclosed that official forex receipt from crude oil sales into our official reserves had dried up steadily from above $3 billion monthly in 2014, to an absolute zero dollars presently.

However, the country’s daily oil production output has increased recently as Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) resumed crude oil exports at the Forcados Oil Terminal. Owing to this, there was renewed hope as the country’s oil production recently rose above the one million mark for the first time since July 2022, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) had disclosed in its latest crude oil and condensate production data for October 2022.

According to Emefiele, a total of N81 billion has so far be given out as incentives to exporters of non-oil products under the programme this year.

He also said the CBN was working to improve forex supply for businesses in the country.

“In 2022, a total of $4.987 billion have been repatriated into the country by non-oil exporters, higher than $3.190 billion repatriated in 2021. Of this amount only $1.966 billion qualified for the rebate program, but only $1.559 billion was sold at the I & E window or for own use.

“The CBN has also paid out about N81 billion in rebate to hard-working Nigerian exporters. This is a testament to the resolve of the CBN to ensure quick acceleration of the export value chain in the country. I know that there have been calls to make all exporters eligible for the rebate, and not just limiting it to finished and semi-finished products.

“While we see some justification for this, one of the goals of the RT200 program is to help quicken the process of industrialisation and encourage exporters to earn more from their export business. Economists have well-documented positive relationship between export and industrialisation,” Emefiele said.

He further explained: “Export can transform the economic structure of countries, from simple, slow-growing, and low-value activities to more productive activities that enjoy greater margins driven by technology.

“We must help our exporters and our economy by adding value to what we produce and export. We are already getting feedback from banks on the interest by exporters to add value to the products they export in order to allow them to benefit from the program.

“We are happy that this is happening, and we encourage more exporters to find ways to add value to their export products so that they can benefit not only from the scheme but get better value for their exports.”

Emefiele pointed out that one of the goals of the RT200 program was to help quicken the process of industrialisation and encourage exporters to earn more from their export business.

He noted that economists have well documented a positive relationship between export and industrialisation, saying export could transform the economic structure of countries, from simple, slow-growing, and low-value activities to more productive activities that enjoy greater margins driven by technology.

He stressed the need for support to exporters and, “our economy by adding value to what we produce and export.”

Emefiele added: We are already getting feedbacks from banks on the interest of exporters to add value to the products they export in order to allow them to benefit from the program.

“We are happy that this is happening, and we encourage more exporters to find ways to add value to their export products so that they can benefits not only from the scheme but get better value for their exports.”

Emefiele thank all the banks, the Nigeria Customs Services, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Ports Authority and hardworking Nigeria exporters for flying the Nigerian flag everywhere and for making the program a success.

Furthermore, he explained that the apex bank was working on improving access to forex to the genuine needs of players in the import-export ecosystem to further boost economic activities.

Emefiele added: “I want to assure you that the bank is committed to strengthening and expanding foreign exchange supply into the market. You are all important in this national clarion call of expanding the supply of foreign exchange to the country.

“For exporters, flying the flag of Nigeria in the international market, the Bankers’ Committee and the CBN stands ready to partner with you to achieve your goals. You can benefit from the many financial programs introduced by the CBN through your bank to grow your business.

“Therefore, I call on this gathering to candidly interact and make constructive and innovative suggestions towards exploring the non-oil export sector as a more sustainable means of increasing financial flows into the economy and generating employment to spur growth.”

He, however, revealed that in terms of process and infrastructure for improving trade performance, the apex bank in collaboration with relevant stakeholders was working to enhance automation and digitisation of the trade processes.

“As of today, the SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria (NAFDAC) certificate and Marine insurance certificate are automated and fully integrated with the Trade Monitoring System.

“In addition, we are working with Quarantine Service to integrate their permits and certificates into the system and very soon the Nigeria Ports Authority’s eCall Up System will also be integrated. Some other enhancements measures have also been done with eNXP including integration with SGD and the development of the PIA portal aimed at the digitisation of the process of issuing Clean Certificates of Inspection (CCIs) by PIAs and ease of scheduling of inspection by exporters.

“All these are made possible because of the interest shown and the commitment made by all of us gathered in this room and beyond,” he said.

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