CBN’s Long-Awaited Decision: After 8 Years, Ban on 43 Restricted Items Lifted in Nigeria
, Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has finally lifted the ban on 43 previously restricted items after a prohibition period of 8 years. This strategic decision, announced recently, aims at rebooting the economy and encouraging both domestic and international trade.
“The Central Bank now allows the importation and exportation of 43 previously restricted items as part of our efforts to stimulate economic growth and prosperity,” stated a high-ranking official.
The CBN’s controversial restriction policy, enacted in 2013, was initially implemented to stimulate local production and reduce the nation’s reliance on imports. Over the years, the restriction list expanded, eventually inclusive of 43 items ranging from cement and textile products to certain food items. This list, often a point of discussion amongst economists and trade analysts, has finally seen a drastic update.
The limitations on foreign exchange that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposed on importers of 43 commodities eight years ago have finally been abolished.
This was contained in a statement signed by Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the bank’s director of corporate communications.
The development follows an earlier report by WOTHAPPEN that the CBN issued a clarification regarding foreign exchange (FX) access for importers of 43 items that were previously restricted from obtaining FX through the official window.
According to the apex bank, a substantial modification has been made to the foreign exchange market policy.
This means that importers are now permitted to participate in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to purchase foreign currency for their transactions.
The development contrasts the 2015 Circular referenced as TED/FEFPC/GEN/O1/010 and its addenda, which prohibited importers from doing so for 43 specific items.
CBN restates commitment to improve FX liquidity
The CBN stated that to ensure that market forces determine exchange rates by the Willing Buyer-Willing Seller concept, it will continue to encourage order and professional behavior by all participants in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
It also said to encourage price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the Foreign Exchange (FX) rates, the current FX prices should be cited from sources such as the CBN website, FMDQ, and other recognized or appointed trading systems.
As part of its duty to ensure price stability, the top bank said that it will occasionally intervene to provide liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
It, however, noted that as market liquidity increases, these CBN interventions will gradually decline.
Additionally, it pledged to step up efforts to involve current players in clearing the FX backlog. It also stated that it would keep talking to interested parties about the problems.
The CBN added that creating a unified FX market is one of its objectives. It stated that continued consultation with market players is taking place to accomplish this goal.