THE ROLE OF MERCHANT BANKS IN FINANCING AND PROMOTING NON OIL EXPORT IN NIGERIA
A buoyant economy is largely on its transaction.
This transaction is what most undeveloped countries depend on for foreign exchange earnings.
Nigeria’s non-oil export in the 60s (sixties) constituted the major source of foreign exchange earnings the ‘oil boom’ of the 70s changed the major source of foreign exchange earnings to crude oil. According to Oke, (1990:23) by 1980 the oil sector which accounted for 22 percent of Government revenue and over 96 percent of export earning.
This crude oil become the single dominating export product which resulted in the partial neglect of the non-oil export. The economic downturn in the early 80’s resulted in a drastic reduction in earnings from oil export and recent developments, especially the dwindling revenue from this sector, there has been a rekindled interest in the preferred sector agriculture and manufacturing are prominent.
In other words diversifying into non-oil export will be a veritable approach. In line with this view, Oshopitan, (1989:11) contents that “The vagaries of fortunes has resulted in a very significant decline of external receipts from about U.S$26 billion in 1980 to about U.S12 billion in each of 1980 and 1985 and 1985 and further to only about U.S$65 billion in each of 1987 and 1988. Indeed the emphasis now is on value added non-oil export so as to maximize foreign exchange therefore”.
Owing to this fact, the need to reduce the dependence of the economy on oil has become inevitable. To revive the weak base, the government introduced and provided general incentives to boost the non-oil sector of the economy which is the basis for growth and development.
These measures were mainly trade export stimulation, incentives e.g. the establishment of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (1976) charged with the responsibility of identifying the country’s export potentials and the collection and dissemination of information on a continuous basis Gbosi, (1995:21).
Similarly, in a bid to effect diversification the structural adjustment programme (SAP) was introduced in 1986. The primary objectives of SAP include the following: To reduce the excessive dependence of the economy on crude petroleum as a major foreign exchange earner. To enhance self reliance: to reduce the excessive dependence of the economy on crude petroleum as a major foreign exchange earner. Okigbo (1981:13).
Undoubtedly, one of the topical issues of our economic management experience is the apparent failure of the policy package to push the non-oil export sector in right direction.
To improve the situation, various decrees were promulgated-export incentives a package in incentives which may help the non-oil sector to earn reasonable foreign exchange for the country.
These decrees were designed to assist merchant banks and some other financial institution in providing finance for the stimulation of domestic production for export. It also gave legal backing for re-financing and rediscounting facilities crated by the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide pre-shipment and post finance in respect of non-oil export.
Furthermore, Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM 1991) was established to help exporter obtain reliable information on the potentials of the market and assist in under-writing export risk.
Nigeria Export Import Bank’s role include bank activities like trade finance, project finance, treasury operations, export advisory services, market information and market risk guarantee Gbosi (1995:23).
However, research has it that irrespective of all these effort, the growth in non-oil export earnings has not been very significant, although there has been remarkable increase in export.
This situation is however being redress with the implementation of Structural Adjustment programme which has inspired the participation of many banks and other specialized institutions from private and public sector. At present this role is played by Government, banks and non-banking institutions. Practically, in order to restore stability to the nation’s economy the non-oil sector need to be activated through adequate funding or credit delivery. In this re-capitalization process, the role of financial institutions such as commercial banks development banks and most importantly the activities of the merchant banks cannot be over emphasized.
Unfortunately, the inadequate contributions of Merchant Banks Finance (loans and advances) to the non-oil export sector has hindered the increase in volume of non-oil export, similarly the limited availability of funds to Merchant Banks in financing non-oil export and the slow increase in volume of non-oil exports has resulted to a decline in the contribution of the sector to gross domestic product. Another identified problem is the inability to ascertain the proportion of total deposit mobilized by Merchant Banks that is granted as loans and advances to the non-oil sector. The neglect of this sector (non-oil export) has affected foreign exchange earning from the sector and even resulted to a slow growth and development of our economy.
This research will attempt to answer the following question in order to enhance the effective realization of the set objectives. To what extent do Merchant Banks’ loans and advance contribute to increase in the volume of non-oil export?
Does the volume of non-oil export have any significant impact on the gross domestic product?
What proportion of total deposit mobilized by merchant bank is granted as loan and advances to non-oil exports?
What is the contribution to non-oil exports to Gross National Product?
1.2 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
To carry out this study the following hypotheses are stated:
Ho1: There is no positive and significant relationship between merchant banks loans and advances to the non-oil export in Nigeria.
HA1: There is a positive and significant relationship between merchant banks loans and advances to the non-oil exports and the volume of non-oil export in Nigeria.
Ho11: There is a significant relationship between the gross domestic product (GDP) and volume of non-oil export.
Ho111: There is no significant relationship between total deposit mobilized by merchant banks and loan and advances granted to non-oil export in Nigeria.
HA 111: There is a significant relationship between total deposit mobilized by merchant banks and loan and advances granted to non-oil export in Nigeria.
Ho IV: There is no significant relationship between non-oil export and gross national product.
HA1V: There is a significant relationship between non-oil export and gross national product.