By Omodele Adigun
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Nigerians to key into the export initiatives being promoted by Fidelity Bank in conjunction with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Lagos Business School (LBS).
According to its Deputy Director, Development Finance, Dr. Adebisi Adeleke, who gave the charge Wednesday in Lagos at a press briefing to launch the Series Five of the Export Management Programme (EMP), export promotion is the only means to raise the country’s foreign reserves and strengthen the value of the naira.
He also urged Nigerian exporters to raise their game by complying with the international standard and specification as well as by embracing value addition to their produce.
His words: “The promotion of export is the only thing that can actually help to beef up our foreign reserves; beef up the exchange rate and strengthen the currency over a long period of time. Everybody should take advantage of the export initiatives right now. The present situation is supposed to be a core advantage for exporters. It simply means that at the present exchange rate, whatever you are exporting can compete favourably with others across the world. It also translates to the fact that when you convert your earnings in foreign exchange to naira, you would be earning more money.”
“The biggest problem we have in Nigeria is the lack of standardisation. Certain countries have not been accepting agricultural produce from Nigeria because of this factor.
Take cocoa, for instance, several countries have not been accepting Nigerian cocoa because of chemicals and additives, which have been banned across the world which Nigerian farmers are still using. You must try as much as possible to ensure that you meet international standard and specification. As long as we encourage export, we also want you to add value. We don’t want you to keep exporting raw materials. That is where the big difference is.”