Non-oil exporters have ramped up the repatriation of export proceeds through the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market in response to the RT 200 programme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Forex inflows from non-oil exports coming through the I&E window surged by 166 per cent to $2.4bn in the first six months (H1) of 2022, compared to the earlier 2021 period, according to the latest CBN data.
Over the past five years, inflow data for non-oil exports flowing through the I&E window as at H1 $100m (2017), $500m (2018), $500m (2019), $300m (2020) and $900m (2021).
The RT200 FX programme is an initiative of the CBN which aims to raise $200bn in forex earnings from non-oil proceeds over the next three to five years.
A major anchor of the programme is the Non-Oil Export Proceeds Repatriation Rebate Scheme. The scheme is designed to incentivise exporters in the non-oil export sector to encourage repatriation and sales of export proceeds into the forex market.
It was borne out of the need to develop new strategies aimed at earning more stable and sustainable inflows of forex in order to insulate the Nigerian economy from shocks and forex shortages.
The rebate scheme pays N65 for every $1 repatriated and is sold at the I&E window to Authorised Dealer Banks (ADBs) for other third party use, and N35 for every $1 repatriated and sold into I&E for own use on eligible transactions.
Payment of the incentive is made on a quarterly basis. The accounts of exporters that qualify for rebates are credited one week after the end of the quarter.
In April, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, ordered the immediate release of N3.5bn in rebates to 150 exporters who took part in the RT200 FX programme.