Nigeria may lift import ban on certain goods

Nigeria may lift import ban on certain goods

Nigeria considers “policy-driven restrictions” in order to promote domestic mfg

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Considering the demand from importers to ease the ban on goods, Nigeria is considering lifting the ban on certain products from accessing foreign exchange.

Speaking to the media Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria said the country may end a ban that prohibits the importers of some specific goods to access foreign currency on Nigeria’s interbank market.

The Nigerian government will be considering “policy-driven restrictions” in order to promote the domestic manufacturing of around 41 items like toothpicks and rice, the Vice President said in a speech on Tuesday.

The easing of import ban could be the latest in the restrictions on foreign-currency trading to be eased by the Central Bank of Nigeria after it lifted a currency ceiling in June last year and the introduction of a window for portfolio investors for trading at an exchange rate determined by market last month.

However, several importers of listed goods have exchanged the foreign-currency from the grey market at a premium as high as 30%. But the Bank has defended the policy by stating that it will encourage local production and conserve foreign reserves.

In April, the Central Bank of Nigeria had provided a forex window for portfolio investors for trading currency at market rates. The Bank lifts a currency peg of 197-199 naira against the dollar which was in force for over a year in June. However, the bank continues with the regular interventions in order to keep the Nigerian currency from declining below 315 against the dollar.

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

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 03, 2017 12:00 IST