The managing director of Lotus Bank, Kafilat Araoye, has said, Nigeria is able to achieve up to $500 billion over the next five years, if the non-oil export sector is enabled.
The country, she added, has the capacity to achieve beyond the goal of $200 billion inflow from non-oil exports over the next two to five years with the collaboration of stakeholders in the economy.
Araoye stated this while speaking at the Lotus Bank Exporters’ Forum 2022.
This was also corroborated by the director, Trade and Exchange Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Ozoemena Nnaji. In her keynote address at the forum titled “Identifying and Overcoming the Challenges of Non-Oil Export Trade,” Nnaji said, the apex bank is willing to partner all stakeholders in order to deliver on the mandate.
The CBN had, earlier this year, introduced the RT200 which is targeted at achieving $200 billion in non-oil export foreign exchange inflow over the next two to five years.
According to the Lotus Bank MD, Araoye, this is a feat that is achievable if the county taps into the several natural minerals that abounds in it as well as the diverse exportable agricultural products.
“We are a country that needs to generate revenue, and one way to generate revenue especially in foreign exchange so that the naira can appreciate is the non-oil export area. Yes we are an oil producing country but we don’t want to be predominantly oil.
is so critical to growth that the CBN has taken a very bold initiative with the RT200.
“Before the RT200, some of us have been clamouring for the need to emphasise more on non-oil export to save the country from trade deficit. We need to be made exporters and not just importers. We are happy to cooperate with the CBN, and as a bank we are going to be supporting the real sector.
“We will support people who will increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increase it from the perspective of increasing our revenue, which will bring more development for the nation as required.
“We can achieve RT200, it is not unachievable. I n fact it should be RT500 because we can get to the $500billion mark it is doable if we all are focused and sincere in supporting non-oil exports. Nigeria is blessed with natural minerals and a fertile land so we can achieve it,” she pointed out.
CBN’s Dr Nnaji, while speaking at the forum noted that, “the key mandate of the CBN is to maintain the external value of the currency and a strategic priority to deliver this mandate is facilitating trade and provision of affordable finance.
“Access to finance has been proven in many countries to be a key driver of exports for commercial activities, which translate to poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Therefore most countries are pursuing this strategy in revamping economic activities after the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CBN’s several intervention have been around value chain development, financing primary production of raw material for the sector, and processing to semi finish and finished products for exports.
“Beyond value chain development, the bank continues to look at other aspects that support the productivity mechanism for the manufacturing sector, ranging from capacity development to infrastructure development to finance inclusiveness, market expansion and development.”