The Bankers Committee, led by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have resolved to form a working group to identify and implement measures to address constraints to non-oil exports.
This was the major highlight of the maiden edition of the biannual non-oil summit organised by the Bankers Committee in Lagos on Thursday.
Among other things, the working group is to take measures to tackle logistics and documentation challenges in the non-oil export value chain.
The decision to set up the working group follows appeals by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to NPA, Customs and other stakeholder groups in the export value chain to support the achievement of the Race-to-$200 billion (RT200) non-oil earnings programme of the apex bank.
According to Emefiele, achieving the $200 billion non-oil exports earnings requires partnership and support of all the government agencies and stakeholders.
He said, “My hope is that this would be a problem-solving gathering. A summit that will guarantee that for every complaint, problem, issue, challenge or difficulty that is presented or identified, there will be one or several agencies or practitioners that can articulate options for solving that problem.
“I strongly believe that the ideas harnessed from this maiden summit would be invaluable in helping us reach our ultimate goal of $200 billion in non-oil exports over the medium term.
“I want to appeal to the MD of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Customs that we establish a working group comprising the Bankers Committee, NPA, the Nigeria Customs and maybe a shipping line to resolve two issues.
“We have heard of people who want to export their goods queuing for weeks or months before their goods can go out.
“We need those export proceeds badly. It is sad that because of the problem of finding an easier route for goods to be exported out of the country, Nigerian exporters prefer to transport by road or sometimes in barges from Lagos to Accra or Republic of Benin to export from there.
“Doing these, we lose the opportunity to earn export proceeds. Customs and NPA in the working group; we want you to look at the long run and the short run.”
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