Shippers’ support FG ban on forex

Shippers’ Association Lagos State has thrown its weight behind the Federal Government’s ban on sales of foreign exchange to importers of rice, private jets, textiles, tomato paste and poultry products.

Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILYyesterday, the President of theassociation, Rev. Jonathan Nicol said the government has the right to protect its economy.

According to him, Government has the right to protect the economy in anypossible way they know will bring a balance to the economy.

“If the Government feels that they are losing too much foreign exchangeto importation, they have the right to streamline it and approve certaincommodities to be under control.

“So, we support it in a way because we believe it will reduce import ofsome on these commodities.”

Nicole however advised Shippers’ who might be affected by the policy toturn to importation of other commodities.

“?Business goes with change and if you are used to importing a
particular item and you feel very uncomfortable because of Government’srestriction on forex, you can change and start bringing in some othercommodities.”

Recall that the Federal Government had last week stopped the sales offoreign exchange to importers of rice, private jets, textiles, tomatopaste, poultry products.

The CBN, in a circular dated June 23, 2015, stated that the
implementation of the policy would help to conserve foreign reserves andfacilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries as well as generateemployment.

The circular reads, “In the continuing efforts to sustain the
stability of the forex market and ensure efficient utilisation of forexand the derivation of optimum benefits from goods and services importedinto the country, it has become imperative to exclude importers of somegoods and services from accessing foreign exchange at the Nigerian forex
markets in order to encourage local production of these items.

“The implementation of the policy will help conserve foreign reservesas well as facilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries andimprove employment generation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the importation of theseitems are not banned, thus importers desirous of importing these itemsshall do so using their funds without any recourse to the Nigerianforeign exchange market.”

The list of 40 items include cement, margarine, palm kernel, vegetableoil, poultry products (chicken, eggs and turkey), Indian incense, tinnedfish in sauce (Geisha, Sardines), cold rolled steel sheets, galvanizedsteel, roofing sheets, wheelbarrows, head pans, metal boxes andcontainers, and enamel ware.

Others are steel drums, steel pipes, wire mesh, steel nails, wire rods,security wire, wood particles and board, wood fibre boards and panel,plywood board and panel, wooden doors, toothpicks, glass and glassware,kitchen utensils, tableware, tiles and wooden fabrics, plastic andrubber products, and soap and cosmetics.

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