The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced it will not provide forex to support the importation of products that can be made or sourced locally.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, urged industrial conglomerates to support efforts aimed at growing the economy and returning it to its glory days.
“The CBN will not support the importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria because the bank could not spend its foreign exchange reserves on what would not boost the economy and generate jobs for Nigerians,” Emefiele said during a virtual meeting with chief executive officers of conglomerates in Nigeria.
He disclosed that in line with the Federal Government’s desire, it was determined to return the Nigeria to the period when the manufacturing and agricultural sectors formed the mainstay of the economy.
The CBN governor, while acknowledging the challenge of low oil prices to major economies of the world, expressed confidence that the price of crude would not remain at low levels for a long period.
He emphasised that the low oil price challenge was surmountable, just as he declared that Nigeria’s foreign reserves of about $37bn remained robust to support the economy.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area billed to commence in January 2021, Emefiele said Nigeria provided companies with immense opportunities to make products and earn huge profits through the Nigerian market, which he noted was large enough to support their businesses.
Stressing the need to prioritise the Nigerian market, the CBN governor assured the companies that the bank would collaborate with relevant government agencies to nip smuggling in the bud, while also promising to protect their businesses to ensure they succeed.
He assured the CEOs of the bank’s willingness to collaborate with other fiscal authorities to improve on their ease of doing business in Nigeria, with a view to simplifying their import and export processes.
On the issue of direct foreign investments, Emefiele said the bank was not opposed to the conglomerates seeking alternatives but legitimate sources of foreign exchange to boost their businesses.
He also said the CBN would not hinder the companies from repatriating their dividends.
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