On Thursday, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced it has removed foreign exchange market restrictions from on 43 items.
This decision was announced in a circular issued by the central bank on October 12, 2023.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to promote orderliness and professional conduct by all participants in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to ensure market forces determine exchange rates on a Willing Buyer – Willing Seller principle,” Isa AbdulMumin, the CBN’s director of corporate communications said in the document.
“Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market. The CB is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and will continue dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.”
Here are the 43 items restored to the official foreign exchange market;
Rice, Cement, Margarine, Palm Kernel/Palm oil products/vegetable oils, Meat and Processed Meat Products, Vegetables and Processed Vegetable Products, Poultry – chicken, eggs, Turkey, Private Airplanes/Jets, Indian Incense, Tinned Fish In sauce (Gelsha)/Sardines, Cold Rolled Steel Sheets, Galvanized Steel Sheets, Roofing Sheets.
Wheelbarrows, Head Pans, Metal Boxes and Containers, Enamelware, Steel Drums, Steel Pipes, Wire Rods (deformed and not deformed), Iron Rods and Reinforcing Bars, Wire Mesh, Steel Nails, Security and Razor Wire, Wood Particle Boards and Panels, Wood Fiber Boards and Panels, Plywood Boards and Panels, Wooden Doors.
Furniture, Toothpicks, Glass and Glassware, Kitchen Utensils, Tableware, Tiles – vitrified and ceramic, Textiles, Woven Fabrics, Clothes, Plastic and Rubber Products, Cellophane Wrappers, Soap and cosmetics, Tomatoes/Tomato Pastes, Euro bond/Foreign Currency Bond/Share Purchases, Milk, Maize.
The CBN on July 1, 2015, restricted the availability of foreign exchange to the importation of 41 items which could be competitively produced within the economy.
The central bank’s rationale for this move is to enhance liquidity within the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market and to provide occasional interventions, with a commitment to reducing these interventions as liquidity in the market improves.
However, under the new guidelines, the CBN said it will be championing the ‘Willing Buyer – Willing Seller’ principle, emphasizing its commitment to a market-driven exchange rate system.
The apex bank said it is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and will continue dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.
It further reiterates that the prevailing FX rates should be referenced from platforms such as the website, FMDQ, and other recognised or appointed trading systems to promote price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the FX rates.
According to the statement, the CBN has set the attainment of a single FX market as one of its goals. “Consultation is ongoing with market participants to achieve this goal,” the Central Bank said.