The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may increase the number of items not eligible for forex from 41 items to include many others products being produced in Nigeria.
Godwin Emefiele made this revelation at the weekend while addressing the 53rd Annual Bankers Dinner in Lagos.
He said the bank, based on internal research, has received a recommendation to do so, following a drop of the country’s monthly import bill from $665.4 million in January 2015, to $160.4 million as at October 2018.
“Based on our internal research conducted at the Central Bank of Nigeria, there is strong support that the recovery of our economy from the recession may have been much weaker or even negative, without the implementation of the restriction on 41 items,” Emefiele said.
“Our research supports the conclusion that the combination of the restriction on 41 items along with other measures imposed by the fiscal and monetary authorities has helped to promote the recovery.
“In fact, recommendations are being made to the CBN that the list of 41 items be expanded to include other additional items that can be locally produced.”
Emefiele said Nigeria must not lose the progress already made in driving local production, across the nation.
“We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far. Accordingly, this policy is expected to continue with vigour until the underlying imbalances within the Nigerian economy have been fully resolved,” Emefiele added.
“If we continue to support the growth of smallholder farmers, as well as help to revive palm oil refineries, rice mills, cassava, and tomato processing factories, you can only imagine the amount of wealth and jobs that will be created in the country.”
He said the CBN is working with the EFCC to track anyone who is selling foreign exchange for items listed as not eligible for forex.
The 41 Items are:
Palm kernel/Palm oil products/vegetables oils
Meat and processed meat products
Vegetables and processed vegetable products
Poultry chicken, eggs, turkey
Tinned fish in sauce(Geisha)/sardines
Cold rolled steel sheets
Galvanized steel sheets
Metal boxes and containers
Wire rods(deformed and not deformed)
Iron rods and reinforcing bard
Security and razor wine
Wood particle boards and panels
Wood Fibre Boards and Panels
Plywood boards and panels
Glass and Glassware
Tiles-vitrified and ceramic
Plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules, cellophane wrappers
Soap and cosmetics
Eurobond/foreign currency bond/ share purchases