Forex: CBN adds fertilizer to banned items, vows to clamp down on violators
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to sanction some corporate and entities said to be engaging in the dumping of the 41 items restricted from being imported into the country with foreign exchange sourced from the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
Recall that the CBN as part of its developmental objective of employment generation and inclusive growth in Nigeria on July 1, 2015 restricted the availability of forex to the importation of 41 items which could be competitively produced within the economy.
However, the CBN in a circular signed by Kevin Amugo, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department on Monday said the the apex bank had discovered that there were circumvention of the policy as the restricted items were being dumped in the country.
It said the implications were that the growth and employment benefits arising from the policy may be eroded if not checked.
“The CBN views this development with trepidation. The Economic Intelligence Unit of the bank in collaboration with the EFCC would commence immediate investigation of the accounts of the corporate and entities engaged in this unwholesome act with a view to visiting severe sanctions on all the culprits,” the circular said.
“Such sanctions would among others include blacklisting the corporates and their directors; closure of their bank accounts; and restricting them from maintaining any bank accounts in any bank under the CBN remit. Banks that provided their platforms for such economic abuses would also be appropriately sanctioned.”
Meanwhile, in another circular, the CBN confirmed the inclusion of fertilizer on the list of ban items effective Dec 7, 2018.
The circular signed by Ahmed Umar, Director, Trade and Exchange Department said, CBN will ensure that transaction (Form M) on fertilizer for which payment are outstanding are settled at the appropriate settlement dates
CBN said the policy had resulted in massive investments and the establishment of cottage industries that now engage in the production of the items across the country.
“The growth and employment benefits have been phenomenal,” the bank said.
THE 42 ITEMS RESTRICTED FROM IMPORTATION WITH FOREX
Palm kernel/Palm oil products/vegetables oils
Meat and processed meat products
Vegetables and processed vegetable products
Poultry chicken, eggs, turkey
Tinned fish in sauce(Geisha)/sardines
Cold rolled steel sheets
Galvanized steel sheets
Metal boxes and containers
Wire rods(deformed and not deformed)
Iron rods and reinforcing bard
Security and razor wine
Wood particle boards and panels
Wood Fibre Boards and Panels
Plywood boards and panels
Glass and Glassware
Tiles-vitrified and ceramic
Plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules , cellophane wrappers
Soap and cosmetics
Eurobond/foreign currency bond/ share purchases