The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, urged the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to set up a dedicated route for non-oil exports.
The CBN Governor appealed on Thursday at the apex bank’s RT 200 non-oil export summit held in Lagos State.
The event’s theme was ‘Setting the roadmap toward achieving RT200 and non-oil export for development’.
Emefiele said due to unnecessary delays at Nigerian ports, some of the country’s exporters have opted to take their goods to neighbouring countries such as Accra and the Benin Republic.
“We are just lucky to have Nigeria Ports, customs here. I want to appeal to both parties that we form and establish a working group comprising the banker’s committee, Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, maybe a shipping line to resolve issues,” Emefiele said.
“We have heard of people who want to export goods out of Nigeria queuing for months before their interests 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 out of the country, Nigerian exporters now prefer to transport by road.
“I even hear some of them transport from Lagos to Accra or Benin Republic, then export goods from there. Doing this, we lose the opportunity of those export proceeds.”
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, called for economic diversification in Nigeria.
The Lagos Governor urged the country to shift from overdependence on oil and gas to agricultural produce, solid minerals, chemical products, furniture and clothing, and tourism, among others.
“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,” Sanwo-Olu added.
“I commend the Central Bank for making this a priority, through the launch of the Race To US$200 Billion FX Scheme (RT200), among other laudable initiatives.
“The RT200 FX Scheme seeks to generate as much as US$200 Billion in FX earnings, specifically from non-oil sources, over the next few years.”