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CBN Lifts Forex Ban On 43 Items, To Clear FX Backlog

The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has lifted the importation ban on 43 foreign commodities, Imposed 8 years ago under the Godwin Emefiele’s watch as Governor of the bank.

Isah Abdulmumin PhD, Director Corporate Communications, disclosed this in a circular by the apex bank released on Tuesday October 12, 2023.

According to the central bank, it will also boost liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market and intervene from time to time, stating that interventions will decrease as liquidity improves.

The press release read:
The Central Bank of Nigeria (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.

The CB reiterates that the prevailing Foreign Exchange (FX) rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CB website, FMDQ, and other recognised or appointed trading systems to promote price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the FX rates.

As part of its responsibility to ensure price stability, the CB will boost liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market by interventions from time to time. As market liquidity improves, these CB interventions will gradually decrease.

Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referencedTED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market. The CB is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and will continue dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.

The CB has set as one of its goals the attainment of a single FX market. Consultation is ongoing with market participants to achieve this goal. Participants and the general public are to be guided by the above.

The decision of the central bank decision to lift the ban on 43 items signifies a major step in resolving Nigeria’s forex crisis as most.

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The 43 banned items include a list of imports that were not allowed access to forex from official sources since 2015.