The Central Bank of Nigeria governor Godwin Emefiele has declared on Monday while addressing Foreign Affairs and Aviation stakeholders at a meeting with the House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The RT 200, according to the CBN boss, is the policy focusing on the repatriation rates of non oil exports proceeds into the Nigerian economy which is almost a billion dollar in the 3rd quarter of 2022.
“What is happening is a global challenge. Indeed as I speak I can say that the global outlook today is darkening due to deepening global slowdown. Today more than one third of the global economy is in recession. The global community is facing rising incidents of unemployment. Indeed most of the countries of the world are facing rising inflation. As a result of this year alone, the USA happens to raise rates almost by 3.75 percent in 2022. that has created some serious inflation pressures and depreciation on the currencies of other countries.
“From the CBN since February this year, we introduced the RT 200 programme which is that programme introduced in order to encourage repatriation of Forex proceeds from exporters of non oil export products. We are gratified that the programme is doing well. When we started it, the first six weeks in February and March, we were only able to see repatriation, we paid rebates on repatriation of about $62 million. The second quarter, we saw an astronomical improvement to $622 million in exports proceeds of non oil. For the third quarter, we have seen almost close to a billion dollars,” Emefiele said.
Emefiele was responding to the issue of $700 million trapped funds of foreign airlines who have threatened to stop flying Nigerian routes from October 28 if nothing was done by government to resolve the issue.
Emefiele explained that contrary to IATA’s representative’s position that nothing has been done to reduce the backlog, $265 million has been earmarked for disbursement to the foreign airlines through their various banks.
“Aside from the privatisation of FX we have always accorded airlines, on the 31st of August, you spoke to me because I have to give you credit for that. That day I made a decision to use our discretion to allocate $265 million to the foreign airlines.
“We did $110 million in spot and the rest 60 days forward. On that day we allocated to IATA $32 million through UBA, Qatar Airways got $22.8 million through Standard Chartered, Emirates got $19.6 million through Access Bank, BA got $5.5m through GTB.
“Virgin Atlantic got $4.8 million through Zenith and so on. How then can they go about and begin to say they have not received their money? This is aside from the so-called 8 or 10 percent you say you are getting Mr Fatokun (referring to the IATA representative),” he said.
Gbajabiamila, who convened the meeting said the issue of blocked or trapped funds of foreign airlines was giving the House a great course for concern, hence the need for the forum to find lasting solutions bearing in mind the prevailing economic imperatives