Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says about one-third of the world economy is currently in recession due to the damaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Emefiele made this known in Abuja on Monday, October 24, while addressing Foreign Affairs and Aviation stakeholders at a meeting with the House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
He said CBN was working outside the box to mop up foreign exchange and strengthen the Naira and by extension the economy through what he called the RT 200 policy.
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According to him, the RT 200 is the policy focusing on the repatriation rates of non-oil exports proceeds into the Nigerian economy, which is almost a billion dollar in the 3rd quarter of 2022.
What is happening is a global challenge, as I speak, I can say that the global outlook today is darkening due to deepening global slowdown.
He said the global community was facing rising incidents of unemployment, adding that most of the countries of the world are facing rising inflation.
He said in 2022 alone, the USA happened to raise rates almost by 3.75 per cent, saying it had created some serious inflation pressures and depreciation on the currencies of other countries.
From the CBN since February this year, we introduced the RT 200 programme in order to encourage repatriation of Forex proceeds from exporters of non-oil export products.
We are gratified that the programme is doing well. When we started it, the first six weeks in February and March, we were only able to see repatriation, we paid rebates on repatriation of about $62 million.
In the second quarter, we saw an astronomical improvement to $622 million in exports proceeds of non-oil. For the third quarter, we have seen almost close to a billion dollars.
Responding to the issue of $700 million trapped funds of foreign airlines, Emefiele said $265 million had been earmarked for disbursement to the foreign airlines through their various banks.
The Speaker, however, said the trapped funds of foreign airlines were giving the House a great course for concern, hence the need for the forum to find lasting solutions bearing in mind the prevailing economic imperatives.
Gbajabiamila said the principle of reciprocity required that Nigerian carriers were also allowed to fly into countries whose airlines had a huge market in Nigeria.
He appealed to the CBN governor to seek ways of raising Forex for the airlines, saying that allowing Nigerian Airlines to operate many of the international routes will reduce the incident of trapped funds in the future.