The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, says that the recently established Domestic Export Warehouses will facilitate the Central Bank of Nigeria’s RT200 Programme.
The RT200 Programme was initiated by the CBN in February, 2022, to stimulate the non-oil exports in order to earn $200 billion in three to five years. Speaking at the presentation of letters to the approved DEW operators in Abuja on Monday, the Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, noted that the DEW initiative was in line with the CBN’s target of stimulating the Nigerian economy through the non-oil export earnings.
“CBN’s RT200 is a directive to ensure that in the next five years, we should earn $200bn through exports. The essence of DEW is to facilitate export and curb supply-side constraints. So, the DEW is a facilitation process where the CBN policy will be achieved,” he said.
On the Export Expansion Grant, EEG, Yakusak reiterated that N375bn had been approved for exporters and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had written a letter to the president for approval, for onward transmission to the National Assembly for ratification. According to Yakusak, DEW was set up to provide best practices in storage, fast-track logistics, and facilitate efficient and seamless documentation processes to ensure timely delivery of exportable products.
He noted that the DEW initiative was expected to significantly reduce the cost of doing business for micro, small and medium exporting firms and serve as a one-stop transit facility/ terminal where pre-shipment activities such as fumigation, packaging and aggregation would be done in preparation for transportation and shipment to export destinations.
“We have about two DEW operators that are ready for full commissioning and operations. We have to wait for other agencies because it is an inter-agency collaboration,” he said, stressing that the NEPC had had direct contacts with heads of agencies, making the work easier.
One of the DEW operators, who is the Managing Director/ CEO, BOU Nigeria Limited, Eze B.O. Uzuegbu, said for operators to meet the required target, they must produce goods that would meet the global standards.
“We are ready to go, but we cannot manufacture goods that are shipped without being assisted,” he said, urging the Federal Government to set up clusters and assist DEW operators with cheap loans as it was done in Taiwan.
“Our people are excellent in production but poor in finishing. If Zimbabwe, Zambia and other countries can export flowers, I do not see what is keeping us from doing the same,” he further said.