November 29, (THEWILL) – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has paid out a total sum of N81 billion to Nigerian exporters in 2022 as rebates for repatriating their export proceeds in line with the RT 200 FX policy.
A total of $4.987 billion has also been repatriated into the country in 2022 by non-oil exporters, higher than the $3.190 billion repatriated in 2021.
These disclosures were made by the Governor, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in his speech at the second edition of the RT200 Export Summit, held in Lagos on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.
Emefiele said the payments were made in fulfilment of the apex bank’s promise to reward Nigerian exporters who repatriated their export proceeds as spelt out in the ‘Operating Guidelines for RT 200 FX Export Proceeds Repatriation Rebate Scheme’ published in February 2022.
The rebate scheme was designed to incentivize exporters in the non-oil sector to encourage repatriation and sale of export proceeds into the FX market.
It was borne out of the need to develop new strategies aimed at earning more suitable and sustainable inflows of forex in order to insulate the Nigerian economy from shocks and FX shortages.
Emefiele, who enumerated the achievements of the scheme so far, commended the exporters who complied with the requirements of the repatriation policy, adding that their action demonstrated commitment to the success of the programme.
He said the payment of the rebates would clear the doubts that might have been harboured by many Nigerians about the ability of the CBN to execute the scheme as proposed.
“I know that when we proposed a rebate payment on every repatriated foreign exchange into the country used for Own expenses or sold at the I & E window, some may have doubted our resolve to meet and sustain the obligation.
“However, events in the last three quarters have shown that when CBN makes a commitment, it keeps that commitment to the last letter,” he said.
Emefiele explained: “In 2022, a total of $4.987 billion will have been repatriated into the country by non-oil exporters, higher than the $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 rebates 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”, he said.
Emefiele added other gains of the scheme to include improvements of infrastructure and processes which have been a bottleneck to effective export business at the ports.
“In terms of processes and infrastructure for improving trade performance, we have recorded some achievements in automation and digitization of the trade processes.
“As of today, SONCAP, NAFDAC, and Marine insurance certificates are automated and fully integrated with the Trade Monitoring System. In addition, we are working with the Quarantine Service to integrate their permits and certificates into the system, and very soon, the NPA eCall Up System will also be integrated.
“Other enhancements have also been done with eNXP, including integration with SGD and the development of the PIA portal aimed at digitizing 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,” elated Emefiele stated.
He said the event was in fulfilment of one of the five anchors of the scheme which stipulated bi-annual summit to evaluate the progress of the RT 200 FX after the first session in June 2022.
“At the launch of this initiative, I promised that we shall be having a biannual conference to review our performance.
“The first conference on the biannual Non-oil Export Summit was held in this hotel in June of this year with great enthusiasm from all stakeholders.
“It aimed to improve the non-oil export process and remove some of the export value chain bottlenecks.
“Today we have gathered again for the second edition of the summit with the theme: RT200 Non-Oil Export Program: The Journey So Far”.
“This time, we will look at what we have achieved since the first summit and examine the result of the collaborative efforts by all stakeholders in the export value chain and areas for further improvement and collaboration,” Emefiele said.
Emefiele commended the roles of strategic stakeholders in the success of the scheme, noting that no meaningful achievement could be recorded without promoting and building an export-oriented economy.
This include the Banks, Nigeria Customs Services, The Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, and hardworking Nigeria exporters.
He said CBN was receiving feedbacks for the expansion of the rebate scheme to primary and non-finished commodities; and explained that the scheme was targeted at promoting non-oil commodity export.
He explained that “Economists have well-documented a positive relationship between export and industrialization.
“Export can transform the economic structure of countries from simple, slow-growing, and low-value activities to more productive activities that enjoy more significant 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 of interest by exporters in adding value to the products they export 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 exports so that they can benefit not only from the scheme but get better value for their exports,” he said.