The House of Representatives is to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, to discuss the new policy that eliminates forex restrictions on 43 commodities.
The House is seeking clarification on the policy and its economic repercussions.
Following the passage of a motion of urgent public concern by a member, Sada Soli, seeking explanation on the policy and its ramifications for the economy, the parliamentarians passed the resolution summoning the CBN governor.
The legislator called the House’s attention to the fact that some of the initially disallowed commodities had tariffs in place to protect domestic industry.
Concerned that Nigeria will be unable to compete in the African Continental Free Trade Area if its markets are saturated with imported goods, the House resolved that the governor of the central bank be summoned for additional explanation.
The apex bank eased the forex ban on 43 commodities two weeks ago and promised to intervene in the FX market from “time to time.”
The central bank barred the items from getting FX through the I&E window in 2015, claiming they were not valid for foreign exchange and may be manufactured in the country. Rice, cement, palm kernel, meat and processed meat products, poultry, soap, and cosmetics are among the items affected.
However, the central bank stated in a statement a few weeks ago that “as part of its responsibility to ensure price stability, the CBN will boost liquidity in the Nigerian foreign exchange market by intervening from time to time.” These CBN actions will eventually decrease as market liquidity recovers.
“Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEMFPC/GEN/O1/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange (forex) Market.”