11 July 2015, Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said, it does not have the power to ban any imported product but do not have sufficient foreign exchange to finance goods that can be produced locally.
Disclosing this at the interactive forum on CBN Forex policy, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the Director Monetary Policy; CBN, Mr. Moses Tule, said the CBN new policy is not made to ban any product but that it does not have sufficient funds to finance any product that can be produced locally here in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and we signed a treaty to it.
“The policy is aimed at building our local industries, creating jobs, reducing the pressure and demand for the foreign exchange,” he stated.
He said clarification of the perceived ambiguity of some of the products restricted from accessing foreign exchange would be given by banks and that the CBN is not earning much foreign exchange from crude oil thus the need to manage the little that was available.
Tule said in the first five months of this year the sum of 575 million dollars was spent on the importation of wheat, while 374 million dollars was spent on fish and 349 million dollars on electrical and electronic appliances into the country.
“It would be wrong to continue with a policy that will keep impoverishing our farmers, local industries and growth of our economy, why will somebody be importing toothpicks or eggs, when we have it in abundance in Nigeria” Tule said.
*Naomi Uzor – Vanguard