…MAN hails move, seeks details
By Bimbola Oyesola
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday realised a list of 36 items considered valid for foreign exchange access.
In a circular dated May 17, 2017, signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of CBN, W. D. Gotring, the bank said it was in response to the misconception emanating from its May 3, 2017 circular on items valid for forex allocation, stressing that the 41 items remained banned.
But stakeholders affected by the policy have reacted to the bank’s decision.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) yesterday said the concession by CBN for 36 items now included for foreign exchange would further lift the manufacturing sector out of the present economic doldrums.
Reacting to CBN’s list of 36 items valid for access to foreign exchange in the foreign exchange market by the apex bank, the MAN President, Frank Jacobs, said though the association was yet to get the details on the list, it was commendable.
“It is a step in the right direction, bearing in mind that those companies that have invested in the country, but could not produce due to lack of raw materials, can now get raw materials and commence production,” he said.
The MAN President said the lift of restriction on those items may not be unconnected with several representations the association has made to CBN on the need to reconsider its position on the restriction placed on 41 items.
He said MAN had broken down the list to 95, out of which it had made case for 42 items, noting that the 36 must have been out of the 42 banned items.
He stated: “Information we are getting now is that only 36 items have been released; we are yet to get clarification. But those items must have been those not available because we do not have the capacity to produce them.”
The CBN had in a circular to all banks and the general public, explained that the list of the 36 items valid was released to clarify misconceptions about details of the 41 items banned from accessing dollars in the foreign exchange market.
Titled “Clarification on items valid for foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange market”, and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Mr. W. D. Gotring, the circular stated: “Following misconceptions and enquiries across the market, this is to clarify to the authorised dealers, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the general public that the following items with their HS codes remain ‘valid for foreign exchange’.”
The items that made the list include animal or vegetable fats and oils fractions, hydrogenated – not including palm oil/olein and margarine; prepared glues and adhesive-based polymers of headings 39.01 to 39.13 or on rubber; other plates, sheets, film, foil, and strip of polymers of ethylene printed – only for pharmaceutical and manufacturing.