Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state has lauded the RT200 FX Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN), stating that the nation stands to gain a lot in terms of expanding its foreign exchange earning capacity through previously underutilised sectors.
The governor made this declaration at the recently held CBN RT200FX Policy Sensitization seminar hosted by Fidelity Bank Plc in Jos, Plateau State capital for businesses in the north central zone of the country. Represented by the Commissioner of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon. Jerry Werr, Gov. Lalong said the State has a long history of contributing to Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange earnings, dating back to pre-colonial times and highlighted the critical role mining played in development of Nigeria before the discovery of oil.
In his address, the Executive Director, North Business, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam, who was represented by the Regional Bank Head, North Central, Sadi Zawiya, said over the years, CBN has continued to envision various intervention schemes to boost local production and productivity as well as to increase non-oil exports and improve the FX generating capacity of the economy. He further clarified to the audience the bank’s decision to host the seminar in Plateau State.
“Plateau State has been strategically chosen for this workshop because of its enormous contribution to the growth of the non-oil space in particular and agribusiness in general in Nigeria. Plateau is well endowed with not only solid minerals, but agricultural commodities and human resources that can propel it to become one of the richest states in Nigeria and we look forward to when the state will take the lead in value-added exports in Nigeria”, explained Imam.
Launched on February 10, 2022 by the apex bank as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, the RT200 FX Programme aims to raise $200billion in foreign exchange earnings in the next three to five years through non-oil exports.
The policy is anchored on the Non-oil Exports Proceeds Repatriation Rebate Scheme which will incentivize exporters in the non-oil sector to repatriate and sell export proceeds in the FX market to generate sustainable FX inflows and guide the Nigerian economy against FX shortages and shocks.
Also speaking at the well attended event, the North Central Regional Co-ordinator of Nigerian Export Promotion council (NEPC), Samson Idowu, said the RT200FX programme requires the right policies, critical export infrastructure, international diplomacy and adequate funding to achieve the desired results within the stipulated period.
The successful hosting of the event in Jos brings to three the number of seminars hosted by Fidelity Bank to drive the RT200 FX Programme across the country, having hosted similar sessions in Kano and Akure on 21 February 2022 and 14 March 2022 respectively.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.