Full List: Importers of Rice, Cement, Clothes, 40 Other Items Can Now Access Forex at Official Rates

The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Thursday, October 12, 2023, lifted the ban on 43 items restricted from accessing foreign exchange at the official window.

In 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria, under Godwin Emefiele, banned 41 items, restricting their importers from accessing foreign exchange at the official window.

CBN, 43 items

Experts pessimistic move will ease inflation, other constraints

The list was later expanded with two new items added.

Analysts believe the ban was needless and contributed significantly to rising inflation and Nigeria’s high cost of living.

In an exclusive interview, Frederick Osas, an investment banker, told that the ban on the items did not make common sense as they could not be manufactured in Nigeria.

“The ban aimed to encourage local production, especially rice. But you can see that Nigeria failed terribly in that regard. Instead of pushing down inflation, the ban contributed to high inflation.

Nigerians should know that the items are not banned in the country but that their importers can no longer have access to foreign exchange at the official rate to bring them to Nigeria,” Osa said.

He said that CBN and the Nigerian government must have thought that the ban affected the standard of living and inflation, but that is not entirely true.

According to him, there are other factors affecting inflation in Nigeria.

“The country is running empty on Forex, and this is because we don’t export anything other than crude oil. So, we have one commodity bringing in all the Forex, and importers will begin to scramble for the few forexes available,” he said.

He stated that the move might amount to little, especially in helping the naira regain its strength against the dollar, but that it will go a long way, especially in food imports.

He said:

“Remember that the arrowhead of inflation is food. The moment importers are allowed to import some food items into the country, it will ease the prices because there are so many mouths chasing the few available right now.”

Below is the list of the items:

  1. Rice
  2. Cement
  3. Margarine
  4. Palm kernel
  5. Palm oil products
  6. Vegetable oils
  7. Meat and processed meat products
  8. Vegetables and processed vegetable products
  9. Poultry and processed poultry products
  10. Tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardine
  11. Cold-rolled steel sheets
  12. Galvanized steel sheets
  13. Roofing sheets
  14. Wheelbarrows
  15. Head pans
  16. Metal boxes and containers
  17. Enamelware
  18. Steel drums
  19. Steel pipes
  20. Wire rods (deformed and not deformed)
  21. Iron rods
  22. Reinforcing bars
  23. Wire mesh
  24. Steel nails
  25. Security and razor fencing and poles
  26. Wood particle boards and panels
  27. Wood fiberboards and panels
  28. Plywood boards and panels
  29. Wooden doors
  30. Toothpicks
  31. Glass and glassware
  32. Kitchen utensils
  33. Tableware
  34. Tiles-vitrified and ceramic
  35. Gas cylinders
  36. Woven fabrics
  37. Clothes
  38. Plastic and rubber products
  39. Polypropylene granules
  40. Cellophane wrappers and bags
  41. Soap and cosmetics
  42. Tomatoes/tomato paste
  43. Eurobond/foreign currency bond/ share purchases

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