Posted by News Express | 9 July 2015 | 3,018 times
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it does not have the powers to ban any imported product while defending its new policy on forex before the private sector.
The Director, Monetary Policy, CBN, Mr Moses Tule, said this at a forum on Wednesday organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on the issue in Lagos.
“The CBN does not have the power to ban any product.
“All we are saying is that the CBN does not have enough foreign exchange to service importers of goods that can be locally manufactured.
“Nigeria is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and we signed a treaty to it.
“The policy is aimed at building our local industries, creating jobs, reducing the pressure and demand for the foreign exchange,’’ Tule told the participants.
He said clarification of the perceived ambiguity of some of the products restricted from accessing foreign exchange would be given by banks.
He reiterated that the CBN was not earning much foreign exchange from crude oil thus the need to manage the little that was available.
The director said in the first five months of this year the sum of 575 million dollars was spent on the importation of wheat, while 374 million dollars was spent on fish and 349 million dollars on electrical and electronic appliances into the country.
"It would be wrong to continue with a policy that will keep impoverishing our farmers, local industries and growth of our economy," Tule said.
Managing Director, RTC Advisory Services Ltd, Lagos, Mr Opeyemi Agbaje who acted as the moderator of the forum likened the restriction of foreign exchange for the 41 items to a defacto ban.
He urged the CBN to always engage the Private Sector before formulating its policies.
Managing Director, Coleman Wires and Cables Ltd., Lagos Mr George Onafowokan, said that the policy would cripple the power sector alleging that it had no clear definition.
"As good as the policy is, I have a problem with it classifying raw materials as finished goods.
"The Harmonised System Code (HSC) should be clearly defined for everyone to understand it because if raw materials are restricted then we are killing our industries," he said.
The participants urged the apex bank to ensure the growth of the economy through policies that would drive and boost development. (NAN)
•Photo shows Emefiele.
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