Food Prices to Crash as CBN Lifts Forex Restriction on 43 Items

Household Items, Fabrics, Others

Better days are ahead for Nigerians as the prices of foodstuffs, cosmetics, fabrics, household equipment and fertilizers will crash soon, a situation that will guarantee food sufficiency in the country.
This development comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lifted restriction placed on 43 items, eight years after the items were banned from the official forex windows.
Presidential Diary reports that the CBN had in June 2015, hinted that 43 items were not valid for foreign exchange as they could be produced in Nigeria rather than being imported into the country.
The affected items include rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste, soap and cosmetics, and clothes.
Others are enamelware, steel drums and pipes, wire mesh, steel nails, wood particle boards, private aeroplanes/jets, Indian incense, tinned fish in sauce, cold rolled steel sheets, galvanized steel sheets, roofing sheets, wheelbarrows, head pans, metal boxes/containers and panels.
Also affected were tableware, tiles (vitrified, ceramics), textiles, wooden fabrics, plastic/rubber products, polypropylene granules, cellophane wrappers, security and razor wire, wood particle and fibre boards and panels, wooden doors, furniture, toothpicks, glass/glassware, and kitchen utensils,
Fertiliser and maize/corn were subsequently added to the list of banned items.
But the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin announced on Thursday in Marrakech, Morocco that importers of all the 43 items previously restricted in 2015 are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian FX market.
“Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market,” AbdulMumin said.
He stated that the apex bank would continue to promote orderliness and professional conduct by all participants in the market.
This, he said was to ensure that market forces determined exchange rates on a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ principle.
The apex bank reiterated that the prevailing FX rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CBN website, FMDQ and other recognised or appointed trading systems.
AbdulMumin pointed out that the decision would promote price discovery, transparency and credibility in the FX rates.
In line with its mandate to ensure price stability, the director disclosed that CBN’s interventions would gradually decrease as market liquidity improves.
He assured that the apex bank is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and would continue to dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.
“The CBN has set as one of its goals the attainment of a single FX market. Consultation is ongoing with market participants to achieve this goal, ” he added

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