Expert seeks CBN review of ban on 41 items

CBN

A financial expert on Monday called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the foreign exchange restriction placed on 41 items imported into the country.

Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Dr Uche Uwaleke, made the suggestion while speaking in Lagos .

He said that the review had become important, especially those items critical to the economic development of the country.

The CBN had in July, 2015, restricted about 41 items, including rice, vegetable oil, poultry products, cosmetics and plastic and rubber products , among others, from access to foreign exchange from its official window.

The apex bank said that the country has the capacity to produce those items locally.

Uwaleke stated that the apex bank should, however, revisit the list of 41 items with a view to exempting a few, especially pharmaceutical items, considered critical to the health sector.

He also scored the apex bank a pass mark on the management of the crisis , especially since the naira was floated in the second quarter of 2016.

According to him, the CBN should improve on market transparency due to allegations of multiple exchange rates in use.

“Much as it makes sense to adopt a concessional window for critical manufacturing inputs and fuel imports if the pump price of fuel must remain at present level, it is unacceptable to use preferential rates for top government officials,” he said.

Uwaleke said that the CBN should not contemplate the idea of using force to extinguish the parallel market.

He said that the strategy did not work in Venezuela and Egypt, noting that it would be a waste of resources if attempted in Nigeria. 

Copyright 2017 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.