The Bankers’ Committee says it will work with the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Plc (InfraCo) to fund the delivery of the Ondo-Lekki highway project to facilitate the growth of non-oil export in line with its flagship project – RT200 Foreign Exchange (FX) Programme.
The ambitious road project is to link Lekki in Lagos State to Ondo State.
This is as players in the export sector get a minimum of N500billion yearly credit line as part of the committee’s commitment to boost FX earnings from the sector.
The resolutions were reached at the 13th Annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat held in Lagos recently.
In a communiqué released at the end of the two-day retreat attended by all bank chief executives and regulatory agencies and signed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Committee Chairman, Godwin Emefiele, the bankers said the decisions aligned with the key objectives of RT200.
The scheme, which kicked off, intends to leverage the potential of the non-oil sector to boost foreign exchange earnings.
It also targets the repatriation of $200b from non-oil exports in three to five years.
Emefiele, while briefing media, said the initiative has achieved modest achievements with a $2billion repatriation realised through the window so far.
“Realising tremendous progress has been made in generating non-oil export revenues in 2022.
“Remember, the RT 200 Programme started in February 2022.
“During the six weeks in February and March when the programme started, and rebates of N65 were being given, export proceeds or repatriation that earned rebate was about $62million.
“During the second quarter, export proceeds repatriation that earned rebates was about $622m.
“And in the third quarter, we saw almost about $850million of export proceeds that earned rebates.
“This is not export proceeds that did not earn rebates. Let us not forget the rebate is only meant for processed goods.
“So, by the time we add both processed and unprocessed goods like cocoa and cashew to the processed goods, we ran into almost $1billion during the third quarter, we are beginning to think that we should be able to continue to ramp up.
“We are looking hopefully for the fourth quarter, we hope that we should be able to hit over a billion dollars in export proceeds and repatriations that will qualify for a rebate,” the governor said.
He said the CBN would come up with the modality of achieving the minimum funding benchmark in the coming weeks.
The template, he said, would specify the minimum input of different banks with the big players expected to take the lion’s share.
“Over the next few days, the Bankers’ Committee will finalise the strategy, governance framework action plan and assign responsibilities for implementation for the Bankers’ Committee program for 2023 that will achieve the desired results and outcomes.
“We will, on an ongoing basis, monitor the progress of implementation and as well as the impact of our actions on Nigeria’s economic development goals and objectives,” the Committee pledged.
The bank chiefs also pledged to support the operations of selected export terminals, including Lekki Deep Sea Port, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport as well as the Gateway Cargo Airport to ease the transportation of non-oil commodities.
By Geoff Iyatse