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FG To Boost Forex Inflow By Repatriation Of Oil & Gas Proceeds

The Imo State Commissioner for Financeand Coordination of Economy Doris Anite Uzoka
Doris Anite Uzoka, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment

In a bid to increase the inflow of foreign exchange in order to curb the rising inflation in Nigeria, the Federal Government is seeking the repatriation of all proceeds on export of oil and gas products.

While hosting stakeholders in the oil and gas sector at in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka Anite said the repatriation of export proceeds in the industry will go a long way in bringing stability to foreign exchange pricing regime in the country.

She said, “Export proceeds are by law to be remitted to the country of origin. We have three guiding legal status requiring that export proceeds be repatriated.

“My job is to promote trade, oil and gas trading falls under my purview. I don’t regulate how operators produce their products, but I regulate how they trade.

“Export and import is my job, maintaining the balance of payment to the country is my job. Balance of payment is so important, if we have export proceeds coming back, we will have dollars and the economy of the country will grow. “

Anite further explained that by repatriating proceeds from oil and gas export, it will be easy to manage the exchange rate volatility.

“The President declared a state of emergency on revenue including foreign exchange revenue. So, this is the time to support the economy and reverse the downward trend that we are heading, ” she added.

Also speaking, the Director of Trade and Exchange with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Hassan Mahmud said the oil and gas sector is the most critical sector for the CBN to achieve its mandate.

“Our major role is price stability, and the major driver of that price stability is exchange rate. Inflation is what we are supposed to curtail. If you are unable to moderate the excessive depreciation, we will not be able to achieve the taming of inflation.“

He said the only way “we can achieve moderating the volatility of foreign exchange is from the supply side. We can’t print dollars, but we can create an environment for dollars to come into the country. “

Mahmud commended the move of the stakeholders engagement stating that, “oil and gas is the highest source of foreign exchange that Nigeria have and there is need for us to provide that platform for operators to be able to bring in those inflows.

“Export proceeds repatriation is very critical as well as the backwards integration programme in the sustainability of the nation’s economy,” he stated.

On his part, the Nigerian Custom Controller on Import and Export, Oloyede Adekunle, said it is important for the processes of obtaining export permits to be automated.

“Having the permit in dispatch delay time, you can not take these permits straight to the command,so if we automate the command and control, the process will be faster,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a technical committee should be set up to draft the SLA and work on the technical integration.