The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally removed the foreign exchange restrictions it imposed on the importation of 43 commodities, including rice, cement, and various building supplies.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, the apex bank declared in a statement signed by the bank’s director of corporate communications, Dr Isa AbdulMumin, that a substantial adjustment in the foreign exchange market policy has been made.
It should be noted that importers of certain commodities were prohibited from obtaining foreign currency, as stated in the 2015 Circular TED/FEFPC/GEN/O1/010 and its addendums.
However, under the new regulation, importers of such commodities are now permitted to purchase foreign currency in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
The items include 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.
However, the CBN added in the recently issued statement that it is putting plans in place to address the ongoing backlog of foreign exchange operations.
AbdulMumin submitted that “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/FEFPC/GEN/O1/010 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.”
One of the CBN’s objectives is to create a single foreign exchange market. This goal is being worked on in consultation with market participants. The preceding should guide participants and the broader public.
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