The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced the lifting of an eight-year ban on 43 items that had previously been restricted from accessing forex.
In June 2015, the Central Bank announced that some 41 items were “Not Valid for Foreign Exchange” because they could easily be produced in Nigeria rather than being imported into the country.
Consequently, importers of these goods had to seek foreign exchange on the black market, where the exchange rate was typically higher than the official rate.
The central bank argued that the policy would contribute to conserving foreign reserves while simultaneously stimulating the revival of domestic industries and fostering increased employment opportunities.
However, Nigeria still faces a significant foreign currency shortage, leading to the Naira hitting historic lows on the unofficial market. In the unofficial parallel market, Naira witnessed a decline to N1,040/1$. This depreciation trend was also observed in the official market, where the exchange rate stood at N776.
Initially, the list contained 41 items when it was first announced, but the central bank later expanded it to include two additional items in 2018, and 2020 respectively.
Now made up of 43 items, each entry on the list included various sub-items, as identified by the Nigerian Customs through their import codes list.
Importantly, the presence of an item on this list does not imply an outright ban on its importation. Rather, these items are restricted from accessing forex through the official investor and exporter window.
Here is the list of the 43 items that had previously been restricted from accessing forex:
|Cement||Metal Boxes and Containers||Toothpicks|
|Margarine||Enamelware||Glass and Glassware|
|Palm Kernel/Palm oil products/vegetable oils||Steel Drums||Kitchen Utensils|
|Meat and Processed Meat Products||Steel Pipes||Tableware|
|Vegetables and Processed Vegetable Products||Wire Rods (deformed and not deformed)||Tiles – vitrified and ceramic|
|Poultry – chicken, eggs, Turkey||Iron Rods and ReInforcina Bars||Textiles|
|Private Airplanes/Jets||Wire Mesh||Woven Fabrics|
|Indian Incense||Steel Nalls||Clothes|
|Tinned Fish In sauce (Gelsha)/Sardines||Security and Razor Wire||Plastic and Rubber Products, Cellophane Wrappers|
|Cold Rolled Steel Sheets||Wood Particle Boards and Panels||Soap and cosmetics|
|Galvanized Steel Sheets||Wood Fiber Boards and Panels||Tomatoes/Tomato Pastes|
|Roofing Sheets||Plywood Boards and Panels||Euro bond/Foreign Currency Bond/Share Purchases|