CBN: Forex Ban On Rice, Toothpicks, 39 Items Lifted Nigeria Out Of Recession
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that the restriction of forex supply on 41 items including rice and toothpicks helped in lifting the economy out of recession.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of a seminar for finance correspondents and business editors in Lokoja, Emefiele said the policy helped in reversing the multiple challenges of dwindling foreign reserves.
“In today’s world, countries have used trade protection repeatedly as a policy to resolve negative perceptions and shocks in their respective countries,” the governor, who was represented by Moses Tule, director of CBN’s monetary policy department, said.
“In other words, should Nigeria, with an insatiable taste for foreign goods to the detriment of the domestic economic realities, throw its borders open to the indiscriminate importation of goods and services?
“This was the prevailing condition in Nigeria before the introduction of restriction of official foreign exchange for the importation of 41 items.
“The implementation of the (restriction of forex for the importation) 41 items, in addition to the other complementary macroeconomic policies, no doubt, was effective in lifting the Nigerian economy out of recession.”
The CBN had on June 23, 2015, placed a restriction on accessing forex in the official forex market for the importation of some goods and services.
The aim, it said then, was to encourage local production of the items, conserve the foreign reserves, resuscitate domestic industries and boost employment creation.
Some of the items barred from accessing forex at the official market were rice, cement, poultry, tinned fish, furniture, toothpicks, kitchen utensils, table wares, textiles, clothes, tomato pastes, soap and cosmetics.
Also affected were private jets, roofing sheets, metal boxes, wire rods, steel nails, security and razor nails, ceramic tiles, glassware, cellophane, plastic and rubber products.