• Nigeria spent a total of N1.18 trillion (about $7.4 billion) on the importation of toothpicks, fish, milk, textiles, rice and furniture between 2014 and May 2015, it was gathered.
  • According to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), fish imports gulped $1.39 billion while milk and rice imports accounted for $1.33 billion and $51 million respectively.
  • These commodities are among 40 items which were recently included on the list of items banned from accessing foreign exchange at the Nigerian Exchange Window by the CBN partly because of the undue pressure they exert on the local currency as well as the economic implication of such imports on the local industries.
  • According to figures obtained from the apex regulatory body, a total sum of $998 million had already been spent on the importation of six items between January and May 2015.
  • A breakdown of the figures showed that fish importation accounted for $374.04 million; rice-$220.3 million; toothpick-$1.32 million; milk–$375.67 million; furniture-$20.39 million and textiles which accounted for $6.49 million within the first five months of the year.
  • In total the sum of $2.73 billion was spent on CBN excluded items in the period in review.
  • In 2013, total forex spent on recently excluded items was valued at $3.37 billion. The figure increased to $6.99 billion in 2014 and $2.73 billion between January and May this year.
  • The figures further showed that in 2014, fish importation gulped $1.02 billion while rice imports accounted for $291 million.
  • Others include toothpicks – $2.71 million; Milk – $960.7 million; furniture – $63.39 million and textiles which accounted for $15.51 million.
  • Source Thisday

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