Stakeholders in the Nigerian Export Sector have called on the Federal Government to allow exporters access to their repatriated proceeds in order to address their complaints on foreign exchange trading on the Investors and Exporters window.
Such move, they said, would be in line with Section 1 of the Export (Incentives and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap E19 LFN, 2004, while a legal framework should be put in place to penalise exporters who fail to repatriate their proceeds.
The exporters’ recommendations were contained in a communique at the end of the maiden National Conference on Non-oil Export, which was organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). The communique, signed by NEPC’s Executive Director/Chief Executive, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, further stated that categorisation of products under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) RT 200 initiative should be reconsidered to include products such as dried split ginger, hibiscus flower among others, as semi processed as against the current CBN classification as primary product.
The exporters pointed out that to address the issues of multiple taxes, levies, overregulation and duplication of roles by government agencies, there is need to streamline roles of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) and ensure constant engagements among trade-related organisations. They called for prior and broad-based consultations of stakeholders in the non-oil export value chain in the formulation of policies on non-oil export operations in the country.
The stakeholders argued that to simplify and harmonise trade processes, the National Single Window concept should be urgently adopted and operationalised. The statement further stated that Nigeria should further leverage on its comparative advantage in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to develop the services export sector, specifically in the emerging digital economy. To enhance port operations, there should be increased investment in technology such as provision and utilisation of scanners to reduce human interface in processes and operations.
To improve market access and visibility for Nigerian non-oil exports, more Export Trade Houses (ETH) should be established and Regional Investment and Trade Offices (RITO) be reopened while trade desks at the Nigerian embassies should be strengthened in terms of building capacity for officers.