By Peter Egwuatu
EXPORTERS have decried government’s directive on the utilization of their export proceeds saying it discourages local manufacturers from exporting goods to other parts of the world.
The exporters stated this at a one day non-oil export workshop organised by Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank Plc in Lagos.
It will be recalled that in February 2015, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, issued a circular notifying the public that export proceeds can only be used for eligible trade transactions or sold to the Authorized Dealer Bank for the naira equivalent. This, the exporters unanimously said, was not favourable as the price at which they sourced commodities for their export was benchmarked against the parallel market rate, meaning selling the proceeds at the CBN-determined rate to the commercial banks was not profitable.
Sriram Venrateswaran, an exporter and the chief executive officer, Fullmark Commodities Limited, suggested that exporters should be allowed to sell their export proceeds to importers to fund their import business.
Another exporter in attendance, Ram Hemnani representing Primlaks, suggested that rather than re-introducing the Export Expansion Grant, EEG, such funds should be used to fix infrastructure as that will benefit more exporters rather than the few that have access to the EEG. He added that both post-shipment and pre-shipment incentives can be introduced by the CBN.