- Sanwo-Olu urges shift from oil and gas to agricultural produce, solid minerals, tourism, others
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and panelist, Mohammed Bello Koko (left), in a handshake with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the RT 200 Non-oil Export Summit 2022, organised by the apex bank in Lagos…Thursday
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to close ranks on a dedicated route to fast-track non-oil cargo export in order to improve the nation’s forex proceeds.
Making the appeal Thursday in Lagos during a summit organised by the apex bank towards achieving the RT200 and non-oil exports, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, accused both agencies of fueling the diversion of export cargo from Nigerian to neighbouring countries’ ports through needless bottlenecks.
Speaking on the theme of the summit, “Setting the Roadmap Toward Achieving RT200 and Non-oil Export for Development,” Emefiele stated that frustrated by the unnecessary delay of transactions at Nigerian ports, some exporters have decided to take their goods to Ghana and Benin Republic, among others.
“We are just lucky to have the Nigerian Ports (Authority) and Customs here. I want to appeal to both parties that we form and establish a working group comprising the bankers’ committee, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, maybe a shipping line to resolve issues,” Emefiele said.
“We have heard of people who want to export goods from Nigeria queuing for months before their goods can go out. Time is against us. In the short run, what can NPA and customs do for the exporters?
“Whether you want to create a dedicated route where they can easily export their goods, we need those export proceeds badly.
“It is sad that because of the problem of trying to find an easy route for goods to be exported, Nigerian exporters now prefer to transport by road.
“I even hear (that) some of them transport from Lagos to Accra (Ghana) or Benin Republic, then export from there. Doing this, we lose the opportunity of those export proceeds.”
On his part, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State insisted on economic diversification to strengthen the naira and achieve economic stability.
He called on Nigeria to shift from over-dependence on oil and gas to agricultural produce, solid minerals, chemical products, furniture, clothing and tourism, among others.
He said: “We can do a lot to strengthen the naira and our external reserves by focusing on our non-oil exports. This diversification also gives us immunity from the severe shock of depending on a limited pool of exports.
“I commend the Central Bank for making this a priority through the launch of the Race To $200 Billion FX Scheme (RT200), among other laudable initiatives. The RT200 FX Scheme seeks to generate as much as $200 billion in FX earnings, specifically from non-oil sources, over the next few years.”