Nigerians have reacted to the announcement of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it has restored the 43 items prohibited from access to the foreign exchange (FX) window in 2015.
The decision comes eight years after the items were banned from the official Fx windows.
Economic and financial experts have therefore urged the government to promote more locally produced items within the country.
In June 23, 2015, the Central Bank Of Nigeria, CBN, announced that some 41 items were “Not Valid for Foreign Exchange” because they could easily be produced in Nigeria rather than being imported into the country.
Some of the 43 affected items include rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products
Others include, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste, soap, cosmetics, clothes among others.
The CBN’s decision to lift the ban on the 43 items signifies a major step in resolving the country’s forex crisis.
Over the past four months, the naira has depreciated by over 50 per cent at both the authorized and unauthorized markets after CBN announced in June that it had collapsed all forex windows into the Investors and exporters (I&E) window.
The move, according to the apex bank, was part of the federal government’s efforts to improve liquidity and stability in the market and attract foreign investors into the Nigerian economy.
Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale described the reforms of the President towards improving the economy situation of the Country as timely.
Reacting, An Economist, Mr. Kofoworola Akinjo reiterated that if the reforms are well implemented, it would help revive the economy.
He however expressed concern that the feat might also affect local production.
Corroborating him, a Financial Expert & Former Chairman ICAN, Ondo State, Prince Ajibade Oriade explained that Nigeria needs policies and reforms that would work, saying all hands must be on deck for full implementation.
The Apex Bank’s decision to lift the the forex restrictions on the 43 items is aimed at reducing foreign exchange demand for products that could be locally produced, improve employment generation and conserve foreign reserves.