CEM REPORT, TRADE | The Federal Government has appealed to exporters to follow due process in ensuring their documentation meets the needed criteria for export.
The government says undocumented export cripples the potential earnings of the country.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele, made the appeal at the RT200 Non-Oil Export Summit 2023 on Tuesday in Lagos.
To strengthen the appeal, he read out a riot act to shipping companies exporting undocumented cargoes from the shores of the country.
“We keep hearing people trying to sidetrack the process and all I can do now is appeal to those of us who believe we can do business without proper documentation to try as much as possible to desist from this practice.”
“All we do is to monitor and appeal to exporters and for people to export and when they do export, that they should repatriate their proceeds for the good of their company and the country in general.
“We will continue to engage Customs, we will continue to engage Nigeria Ports Authority and we will continue to engage the shipping line or shipping agents to nip in the bud the incidence of exporting with documentation.”
“What you do is that you hurt the export earning potentials of the country when you do this.”
Additionally, he said that the apex bank expects the shipping line to take responsibility and do the needful hence it took no action against them.
“What this does is reduce the export earning potential of the country. About three years ago when we had a meeting at the CBN in Lagos, with the shipping lines, I had said that the CBN would be beaming the searchlight on undocumented exports and we had advised the shipping lines at that meeting that we will also be monitoring and if we find that they export without documentation we will fine them by placing their accounts on PND.
“We have so far not done anything like that, because we feel that our shipping lines will be responsible to do what is right, but if we do not see the kind of cooperation that we expect, I will have to insist that we do what we need to do.”
Speaking on the theme “Challenges and Prospects to Success,” Emiefele stressed the need to diversify the nation’s export focus to non-oil commodities.
He noted that the non-oil sector is capable of generating the much needed foreign exchange.
“We all know that a nation that continues to import more than it exports is destined to fail and there will be no meaningful development of any nation without harnessing its export sector for the good of the nation,” he said
“In the case of Nigeria, we know that developing the non-oil sector is absolutely imperative given that it holds vast potential for generating a significant amount of foreign exchange earnings.”
To buttress his assertion, he noted that the RT 200 earnings from non-oil exports increased by 40 per cent from $3 billion in 2021 to $5.6 billion at the end of 2022.