The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has announced plans to halt foreign currency for sugar and wheat imports, as the country tries to conserve national foreign reserves.
The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle, in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The tweet stated, “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”
In 2015, the bank listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list, citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, etc.
In August 2019, the central bank told lenders to stop offering credit to importers of milk after saying it would ban access to foreign exchange for dairy purchases to spur local production. It later lifted the restrictions for six dairy firms following an outcry from businesses.
The most recent addition is maize, a widely consumed staple food in the country.
“Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them.” – Central Bank of Nigeria
Currency restrictions aimed at easing pressure on the local currency amid a shortage of dollars have contributed to galloping inflation and further weakened the naira in recent years, analysts say as indicated in a Reuters report.
The move has also been termed as faulty since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.
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