The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has warned that the current foreign exchange restrictions especially the exclusion of 41 items from the foreign exchange market might lead to loss of 80,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
The Chamber said this was due to inability of manufacturers to access foreign exchange even for items not excluded.
LCCI’ director of research who spoke at TheCable Colloquium, Dr Vincent Nwanem, said:
“Is the high rate an issue for manufacturers? No, the major issue now is access. Even the goods that are not listed in the 41 items, our members cannot even fund dollars to fund them.”
NAIRAMETRICS had reported that even the largest conglomerate in West Africa, the Dangote Group, is feeling the impact of the foreign exchange restrictions by the CBN as the company struggles with a tightened supply of foreign exchange. Currently, it is relying on its international cement operations and export-credit agencies to get around the shortage.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Deposit Money Banks, DMBs have lamented over what they considered as abnormal demand for foreign exchange, forex for “invisibles,” especially for school fees and health tourism.
CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, who briefed journalists on the outcome of yesterday’s Bankers’ Committee meeting, in Abuja, said that the monetary authorities would not allow that category of demand to crowd out the real sector of the economy in the forex market.