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Reps summon CBN Governor over lifting of forex restrictions on 43 items

The House of Representatives has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, over the recent decision to lift Foreign Exchange restriction on 43 Items being imported into the country.

This followed a resolution on a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sada Soli Jibia (APC, Katsina) at the Plenary on Tuesday.

Presenting the motion, he reminded that, the CBN had in June 2015 imposed the restrictions to conserve the foreign exchange reserves and promote local production of certain goods, including about 11 food items.

He, however, stated that, on October 12, 2023, the apex Bank announced, among other issues, the lift on Foreign Exchange restrictions hitherto placed on the 43 items.

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Soli further noted that some of the items have tariffs to protect local industries, as they are part of the imports prohibition list.

The lawmaker said, “The decision of the CBN will greatly affect local production of items such as rice, cement, and palm oil among others, as it will force local manufacturers to hold the short end of the stick, invariably leading to factory closure and ultimately eroding our capacity to build the country’s local economy.

“Almost all the 43 items are from two critical sectors which have been identified by all policy documents from NEEDS, SEEDS to Vision 2022 as being areas that are critical to economic diversification.

“Some of the listed items enjoy 60%-70% subsidy from their countries of origin, thus putting Nigeria’s local products at a comparative disadvantage and without any protection, and will lead to job losses and social exclusion.”

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