Emefiele and Sanwo-Olu are looking for structural changes to help stabilize the foreign exchange market



Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN), called for the “creation and steadfast execution of various supportive, structural, and complementary policies” to stabilize the foreign exchange market yesterday (FX).

Emefiele made the statement during the inaugural RT200 Non-oil Export Summit, saying that stand-alone monetary instruments could not deliver the requisite stability without substantial, long-term structural and fiscal reforms to strengthen the external sector’s performance.

“In recent years, the Nigerian economy has been challenged on a number of fronts as a result of a mix of local and global causes. The COVID-19 epidemic, as well as delays in global logistic value chains and local security concerns, have put undue strain on our economy, making macroeconomic management extremely difficult. These factors had an effect on oil output and prices, as well as trade and exports, capital inflows, and food production. They also revealed the Nigerian economy’s instability and the need for a more diverse economy.

“In the face of these obstacles, the CBN has seen an increase in demand for foreign exchange for goods, services, and other purposes. In order to meet foreign exchange obligations, the Bank has been striving to control both the demand and supply sides.”

Emefiele, who was joined in his advocacy by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said non-oil exports have improved dramatically since the RT200 FX Program was implemented in February, with the apex bank handing out N3.5 billion in rebates to exporters at the end of the first quarter alone.

He recognized the importance of efficient and cost-effective port services in increasing non-oil exports, and stressed his team’s desire to collaborate with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other relevant stakeholders to build a supportive infrastructure. He emphasized that the country has enormous potential to establish a competitive export market if it has suitable and efficient infrastructure.

“Now is the moment for all of us to work together to reposition Nigeria on a growth path by focusing on economic diversification.” Now is the moment to start working together for the greater interest of our country. This is the time for us as a financial community to step up and help exporters who have been flying the Nigerian flag in worldwide markets,” Emefiele said, as he highlighted the successes of countries with less natural resources than Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu was optimistic that the Lekki Deep Seaport, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year, and the projected Badagry Deep Seaport, which is awaiting FEC clearance, would relieve congestion at Apapa ports and increase access to port services for export purposes.

The governor urged exporters to take advantage of the Non-oil FX Rebate Scheme to boost the country’s foreign exchange profits, claiming that the country’s export volumes must be increased immediately to support growth and generate jobs.

The summit and the non-oil FX Rebate Scheme are two of the five pillars of the RT200 FX Program, which aims to increase non-oil export FX repatriation to $200 billion over the next three to five years. The Value-Adding Exports Facility, Non-oil Commodities Expansion Facility, and Dedicated Non-oil Export Terminal are the other components.

Given the amount of congestion in Lagos and the associated cost of accessing the city’s ports, some of the participants advocated for the construction of export-focused ports in any other coastal state.

During the launch of the proposal, Emefiele stated that the CBN was willing to collaborate with any state government to establish an export-only port facility.

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