The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lifted the forex ban on 43 items, effective immediately. The CBN also promised to intervene in the FX market from time to time to boost liquidity.
The CBN had restricted the items from accessing FX from the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window in 2015, saying they were “not valid for foreign exchange and could be produced in the country.”
Some of the affected items include rice, cement, palm kernel, meat and processed meat products, poultry, soap, and cosmetics.
In a statement on Thursday, the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, said the ban was lifted to “further promote economic growth and development.”
“The 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,” he added.
The CBN also reiterated that the prevailing FX rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CBN website, FMDCQ, and other recognized or appointed trading systems.
The CBN’s decision to lift the forex ban on 43 items is expected to boost economic activity and improve the availability of goods in the market. It could also lead to a decline in the prices of some goods, as importers will now be able to access FX at the official exchange rate.
The CBN’s intervention in the FX market is also expected to help stabilize the naira and reduce volatility. This will create a more conducive environment for businesses to operate and attract foreign investment.