The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally lifted the foreign exchange restrictions it placed on importers of 43 items eight years ago.
The CBN in a statement signed by Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the director of corporate communications of the bank, said a significant change has been made in the foreign exchange market policy.
Importers who were previously restricted from purchasing foreign exchange for 43 specific items, as outlined in the 2015 Circular referenced as TED/FEFPC/GEN/O1/010 and its addendums, are now allowed to participate in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to buy foreign currency for their transactions.
As of October 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had restricted access to Forex from FX market for the following 43 items: Rice, cement, Margarine, Palm kernel, palm oil products and vegetable oils, Meat and processed meat products and Vegetables and processed vegetable products.
Others are: Poultry and processed poultry products, Tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardines, Cold rolled steel sheets, Galvanized steel sheets, Roofing sheets, Wheelbarrows, Head pans, Metal boxes and containers, Enamelware, Steel drums, Steel pipes, Wire rods (deformed and not deformed), Iron rods and reinforcing bars.
Also included on the list were: Wire mesh, Steel nails, Security and razor fencing and poles, Wood particle boards and panels, Wood fiberboards and panels, Plywood boards and panels, Wooden doors, Toothpicks, Glass and glassware, Kitchen utensils, Tableware, Tiles-vitrified and ceramic.
Textiles, Woven fabrics, Clothes, Plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules, cellophane wrappers and bags, Soap and cosmetics, Tomatoes/tomato pastes, Eurobond/foreign currency bond/ share purchases, Piston crowns, Ball bearings, High voltage cables, Transformers/switch gears and Gas cylinders were also on list.
AbdulMumin said the CBN is actively working to address the existing backlog of foreign exchange transactions, and the CBN is currently engaged in ongoing discussions with various stakeholders to find solutions and facilitate the clearance of this backlog.