BY Innocent Orok
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally left the ban on Forex for the 43 items hitherto banned from accessing Forex from the CBN by the Federal government.
It could be recalled that for the last eight years of the former administration of Mohammedu Buhari, the 43 items were banned from accessing Forex from the CBN for importation , a situation that has further worsened the Nigerian economy.
The Nigerian apex bank on Thursday lifted the ban on the items imposed under the Godwin Emefiele led CBN as the apex bank’s governor.
This development was disclosed in a circular by the CBN titled “CBN Restates Commitment To Boost Liquidity in FOREX Market” released on October 12, 2023.
According to the apex bank, this will also boost liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market and intervene from time to time, stating that interventions will decrease as liquidity improves.
The Circular signed by Isa AbdulMumin, Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank reads, “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to promote orderliness and professional conduct by all participants in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to ensure market forces determine exchange rates on a Willing Buyer – Willing Seller principle.
“The CBN reiterates that the prevailing Foreign Exchange (FX) rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CBN website, FMDQ, and other recognised or appointed trading systems to promote price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the FX rates.
“As part of its responsibility to ensure price stability, the CBN will boost liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market by interventions from time to time. As market liquidity improves, these CBN interventions will gradually decrease.
“Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
“The CBN is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and will continue dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.
“The CBN has set as one of its goals the attainment of a single FX market. Consultation is ongoing with market participants to achieve this goal. Participants and the general public are to be guided by the above”.
Some of the items banned from accessing Forex for importation include; Rice, Cement, Margarine, Palm kernel/palm oil products/vegetable oils, Meat and processed meat products.
Others are Vegetables and processed vegetable products, Poultry – chicken, eggs, turkey, Private airplanes/jets, Indian incense,Tinned fish in sauce (geisha)/sardines, Cold-rolled steel sheets, Galvanised steel sheets, Roofing sheets Wheelbarrows, Head pans Metal boxes and containers, Enamelware Steel drums,Steel pipes.
They also include, Wire rods (deformed and not deformed), Iron rods and reinforcing bars, Wire mesh Steel nails, Security and razor wire,Wood particle boards and panels, Wood fibre boards and panels, Plywood boards and panels,Wooden doors, Furniture Toothpicks, Glass and Glassware, Kitchen utensils, Tableware, Tiles – vitrified and ceramic textiles, Woven fabrics Clothes, Plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules, cellophane wrappers, Soap and cosmetics, Tomatoes/tomato paste, Eurobond/foreign currency bond/ share purchases, Dairy/milk and Maize.