By Miracle Esegha, Warri
Nine years after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under its former Governor, Godwin Emefiele, placed restrictions on access to the official foreign exchange market for the importation of some 43 items, the restrictions have now been removed by the apex bank.
This was contained in a statement released by the apex bank and signed by its Director of Corporate Communications, Dr Isa Abdulmumin, on Thursday.
The statement also assured that the apex bank will continue to intervene in the official foreign exchange market to meet the rising demand.
Abdul Mumin 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.
Although the value of the naira has remained stable at around N760-N770 to the dollar at the official end of the market, the demand pressure at the parallel market had seen it spiral to over N1,030 to the dollar as of Wednesday.
As of October 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had restricted access to Forex from the 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.