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41 Forex restricted items, deadly drainpipe to country’s reserves—-CBN

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has once again, restated the resolve of the bank to maintain its stand in the prevailing restriction imposed on 41 items from its flexible access to foreign exchange window.

Speaking at the Univeristy of Nsukka in a lecture titled: “The Dilemma of Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Management in a Recession: Potential Options for Nigeria,” the Alumni of the school said the apex Bank had to restrict access to the Forex market for a category of 41 commodities, which he said the Bank saw as being unnecessary drains to the country’s reserves.

He said CBN recently embarked on aggressive drive to close the gap between the interbank and parallel market which its positive impact was already evident in the economy, noting that “CBN will continue to monitor evolving situations and constantly review it’s polices to ensure the best for the economy. How do we justify the importation of items like apple, cucumber and eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpicks from China.

“These are items we can locally produce and use money in importing these items to beef up local industries that will in turn create employments for our youths. We must take ognizance of the fact that imports are leakages to every economy,” he said.

According to him, the CBN had to make the foreign exchange market flexible as well as prioritize the most critical needs for foreign exchange.

In his argument, he noted that Nigeria missed opportunity of being a great economy when it saw oil and abandoned agriculture which was the backbone of the economy in 1960s and 1970s.

But as a way of recovery, Emefiele asked tertiary institutions in the country to focus on research that will boost economic development. He also assured that the CBN will work with relevant stakeholders in the educational sector to stimulate research for the overall good of Nigeria.

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