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FG makes U-Turn, plans review of CBN’s restriction on 41 items

Indications are beginning to emerge over the possible resumption of business traffic at Nigerian ports if the federal government put paid to its recent pronouncement to review the forex ban placed on 41 items for several months now.

Findings have shown that since the ban was placed, container throughput at the major seaports have reduced to its lowest ebb.

Speaking recently on the matter, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said government is looking at how to exit the use of a list of 41 import items for which local firms cannot get hard currency from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and follow a trade policy-driven curbs on access to hard currency.

It would be recalled that the 41 items’ restriction from the official foreign exchange window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was introduced in 2015 by government to support the naira after it was hammered by a fall in oil prices. The policy has however led to the closure of plants in various sectors, as they have been unable to import the raw materials or spare parts they need to stay in production.

Osinbajo said, “In stabilizing the macro-economic environment we have focused on aligning fiscal with monetary policy and nudging the CBN towards the objective of more market-determined exchange rates”.