The CBN on Tuesday issued a new circular listing about 41 items that have now being banned from the FX Market. In other words, importers of these items will have to source for forex from the black market to pay for their imports.
The directive has been met with some discontent as many will typically weigh the implication of the directives on prices of goods and service, value of the Naira in the black market, small business who largely depend on import to survive.
The CBN Governor subsequently held a press briefing to address some of the concerns emanating from the directives. In a stern and uncompromising manner, he had this to say.
“In the case of yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) announcement, I am happy to underscore that this policy change is in line with our long held believe that Nigeria cannot attain its true potential by importing everything into the country.
“At some point in our lives, we have to all decide what we really want for our country and I believe that the time is now ripe for that conversation.
“Let me also reiterate that the CBN will continue to be vigilant around this policy and will keep reviewing the list of items until we become comfortable that the items that can be produced locally are sufficient enough.
“We will continue to review this list and it is possible that by tomorrow, we will add one or two more depending on our own assessment of the market and our own assessment of the industry to see to the fact that if we restrict allocation of forex for the importation of these products that it will not duly hurt our people.”
He added, “Foreign exchange will not be provided by the central bank or by the banks or by the Bureaux de Change. If we find people flouting it, luckily these people we mention are under our regulation, and we will deal with them”