Saturday, June 18, 2022

Biannual Non-Oil Export Summit: Feedback For CBN & Banker's Committee

The RT200 FX programme is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the goal is to generate a total sum of $200 billion in non-oil export proceeds within the next 3-5years. This programme has  5 pillars and one of them is the biannual non-oil export summit. In line with the implementation of the five pillars of the RT200 FX programme of the CBN, the bankers committee together with the management of CBN have organized the maiden edition of the biannual non-oil summit which held at EKO Hotel on June 16, 2022. 


This is a promise keep by the CBN Governor and this initiative is commendable and a step in the right direction. A number of issues were raised and recommendations made at this event. All the ideas shared at the event will definitely contribute to the growth of the sector and achievement of the target set if they are well implemented. However, a few observations were made regarding the event which are being highlighted in this article. If these suggestions are put into consideration at the next event, it will enrich the outcomes of the conference and thereby speeding up the race towards the set target of $200 billion.


The first observation is the fact that the programme was seen by participants as a type of monologue. This is because even though there were many participants at the event, the participants were not allowed to participate. After the presentation and discussion by the panelists, only the CBN Governor was allowed to make comment on each of the panel session. The fact that the views and opinion of many stakeholders were not heard, makes the discussions at the programme not to be robust enough to enable the policy makers to take an informed decision. This also makes the programme to be unable to gather enough ideas and wisdom available in the audience and these are seriously needed to solve the problems being encountered in the sector. 


The lack of participation of the participants in the discussion is not good for the CBN at all because it did not allow the CBN Governor to hear the pain points of the exporters who are the ones doing the shipments that will generate the export proceeds and therefore help in achieving this laudable initiative of the RT200 FX programme. It also prevented the CBN Governor from hearing first hand from the exporters the challenges that many of them are having with the deposit money banks. As a matter of fact some participants are of the opinion that, the programme was done to fulfil all righteousness and not because the apex bank was ready to solve the problem, since they were not allowed to speak at the event. However, this opinion is not correct because the CBN has started the disbursement under the rebate scheme which is a demonstration of the commitment of the CBN Governor to make the RT200 FX programme a success. This kind of insinuation could have been avoided if the participants were allowed to contribute at the event.


Another issue raised about the programme which I saw on an exporter’s WhatsApp platform few days after the event was about the presentations made by the Managing Directors of banks before each panel session. The participants said “I attended. But, I must say, it was more of CEOs of the Banks trying to justify themselves where export are concerned than the real thing.” Another participants in a conversation said, that “the bank MD’s presentation were used as an opportunity to make their own request to the CBN and get the CBN Governor to meet their needs because they are not interested in helping exporters to solve their problems”. He also went further to say that “ some of the request in those presentation could have been made at the bankers committee meeting rather at such event”. 


It was also observed that there was no serious discussion around SMEs participation in export business and this was seen in the export businesses that were represented in the panel (only the large corporates made it to the panel). With the number of SMEs operating in Nigeria, the race to the $200 billion will be a lot easier to achieve if they are given the necessary support to increase their current export volume. Also, there was no discussion about the need and how to grow the number of export businesses in the country. This is very important in order to reduce the average export volume that needs to be done by each exporters in order to achieve a total export proceeds volume of $40 billion per annum and $200 billion in 5 years. Another observation was that discussion on the exportation of processed solid minerals was conspicuously missing. If not for the panelists that spoke about recycling, the programme would have been completed without anything being said on metal export despite the huge potential of processed minerals generating export proceed for the economy. 


Finally, the good news about the summit is that it is going to be a biannual event, so there is room for improvement. Also, since the CBN is committed to making this vision a reality, it is expected that lessons learnt from this maiden edition is going to be put into consideration and necessary correction made ahead of the next event which is expected to hold later this year or early next year. Lastly, it is important to congratulate the CBN Governor and his management team plus the banker’s committee for successfully hosting the maiden edition of the biannual non-oil export summit which is a major pillar in the actualization of the RT200 FX programme.


For the love of Nigeria, Africa and Mankind 

Bamidele Ayemibo (

Lead Consultant, 3T Impex Consulting    

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