Updated: CBN to lift forex ban on raw materials
by ELIZABETH ARCHIBONG, Abuja
May 15, 2017 | 7:02 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Federal Government is set to lift the ban on raw materials that are part of the 41 listed items banned by the Central Bank of Nigeria from accessing foreign exchange at the official window. This follows long deliberations among the regulator, other economic mangers and stakeholders.
BusinessDay gathered that Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, will be issuing a memo to that effect in the coming days, to enumerate the raw materials that will be removed from the list of 41 items restricted from accessing FX for their import.
A very reliable government source told BusinessDay that the decision was finally reached at the weekly Economic Management Team meeting held Monday.
“The CBN governor will release a memo to that effect in the next few days. All I can tell you, is that some raw materials will be taken off the list. The CBN governor’s memo will capture the items that are to be taken off the list,” he said.
The Economic Management Team had last year, commenced a review of the 41 items on the list with a view to easing the pressure on manufacturers in the country.
BusinessDay was told last year, that the plan had been to review the list downwards and not to cancel it entirely, as is being widely clamoured for. The CBN governor has severally indicated the apex bank’s unwillingness to review those items, arguing that most of those items, including rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel/palm oil products/ vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, among others, can be manufactured locally, if the Nigeria business community are encouraged to.
The CBN’s position had been that soft oil prices pushed Nigeria’s foreign reserves to record low levels, settling at $27.6 billion as at February, before trending up to slightly above $30bn last week, as oil crude output and prices continue to stabilise.
The CBN placed the FX ban on poultry, including chicken, eggs, turkey, private airplanes/jets, Indian incense, tinned fish in sauce, cold rolled 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, wire mesh, steel nails, security and razor wire, wood particle boards and panels, wood fiber boards and panels and wooden doors.
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