The Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele has revealed that the country recorded a massive decline of $6.14bn (N1.2trillion) in non-oil exports receipts from $10.53bn in 2014 to $4.39bn in 2015. Coming at a time when the price of oil has massively declined, this is bad news.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at a conference, Emefiele blamed the decline on the low level of export loans from the banking sector.
He said available statistics show that whereas credit to non-oil exports had been declining in the last five years, credit to the economy had been on the increase.
Emefiele who put the total credit to non-oil exports at 0.6 per cent of domestic credit to the economy, explained that such level of funding cannot unlock the potential of the non-oil sector.
He said the conference with the theme “Growing Nigeria’s non-oil exports” was put together by the CBN and Nigerian Export-Import Bank as part of measures aimed at devising strategies to increase the sector’s contribution to economic growth.
He said, “Exports are an essential component in the national income and it has a very important role in supporting the nation’s economy against the backdrop of weak oil prices.
“It has been observed that while credit to non-oil exports is declining and currently at an average of 0.6 per cent of total domestic loans to the private sector in the last five years, the domestic credit to the economy has been on the rise.
“The low level of export loans has no doubt also contributed, to a large extent, to the decline in non-oil export revenue receipts from $10.53bn in 2014 to $4.39bn in 2015.”
He added, “The impact of these developments to on the country’s export growth potentials are quite significant and has become instructive for stakeholders to dialogue towards evolving responsive strategies that will expand resources for exports and its funding programmes on a complimentary basis.”
Represented by the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr Mudashiru Olaitan, the governor said the conference would assist in fostering greater understanding of the issues constraining the nation’s non-oil exports with a view to proffering practical short and long term solutions.
He assured stakeholders at the conference that the outcome of the meeting would assist the CBN to formulate policies aimed at enhancing the growth of non-oil exports as well as create more jobs for Nigerians.