The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the restriction on 41 items hitherto marked as not valid for foreign exchange, only for small businesses.
In June 2015, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari took office, the apex bank placed a restriction on 41 items for which importers could no longer get dollars, including rice, toothpicks, cement, private jets, steel products, plastics and rubber, soap, cosmetics, furniture, Indian incense and foreign bonds.
The governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had said that the reason for the restriction was to drive local production of goods and services within the Nigerian system.
“Importers of items classified as not valid for forex with transactions value of $20,000 and below per quarter shall now qualify for allocation of foreign exchange,” the bank said in a circular seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Consequently, the restriction still exists for businesses with transaction value above $20,000 per quarter.