Benin, Oct. 24, 2023: Edo Export Cluster (EEC), has expressed displeasure with the recent lifting of foriegn exchange (forex) ban on the importation of 43 items by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Coordinator of EEC, Mrs. Rhone Peters, said in Benin on Monday that the policy do not encourage exportation and the patronage of locally made commodities.
“The policy doesn’t encourage exportation. If you are allowing other goods to come into the country freely, how will the farmers be encouraged to produce?
“How do you encourage the processors and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to produce when importation is higher than exportation?
“Employment can’t be created when people are given forex to import items that can be produced in the country.
“We have bamboo, we shouldn’t import toothpick. Is toothpick too difficult that people can’t be trained to produce in the country?
“We should look inward and correct inwardly. Allowing the good and bad to come inside the country will not help us as a country,” she lamented.
Peters noted that Nigerian government should be interested in getting its farmers to produce at export standard, saying that “most times; our farmers do not know the right thing to do”.
“Our local farmers should be trained on modern ways of food processing, packaging and standardization of products.
“Farmers should be encouraged to go into exportation as no country will do well when the import is more than the export”, she added.
The CBN on June 23, 2015, issued circular TED/FEM/FPC/GN/01/010, which put 41 product categories on a list of items not valid for FOREX in the Nigerian Forex market.
The Apex bank, added two more product categories to the lost in subsequent years, bringing the total of imported product categories restricted from accessing FX to 43.
However, the CBN, on October 12, 2023, announced, among other policy issues, the lifting of forex restrictions hitherto placed on the importation of 43 items.
These items include Rice, Cement, Margarine, Palm kernel, Palm oil products, Vegetable oils, Meat and processed meat products, Vegetables and processed vegetable products poultry and processed poultry products.
Other are private Airplanes/Jets; Indian Incense; Tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardine; Cold rolled steel sheets; Galvanized steel sheets; Wheelbarrows; Head pans; Metal boxes and containers; Enamelware and steel drums; Steel pipes, Wire rods (deformed and not deformed);
Also in the list are Iron rods; Reinforcing bars; 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,
It also includes tableware; Tiles-vitrified and ceramic; Gas cylinders; Woven fabrics; Clothes; Plastic and rubber products; Polypropylene granules; Cellophane wrappers and bags; Soap and cosmetics; Tomatoes/tomato pastes, and Eurobond/foreign currency bond/share purchases.