The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director of Monetary Policy, Moses Tule, has clarified that the CBN does not have the power to ban any imported product, while at the same time, he defends its new policy on forex.
He made this clarification at the interactive forum on CBN forex policy forum, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) yesterday at the LCCI office in Alausa.
In his address to participants, the President of LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello, stated that the volatility of the exchange rate has been a major concern in the business environment in the last couple of months.
He said: “It has posed serious challenges for planning in many enterprises. There was the closure of RDAs and only recently, there was a new list of 41 items not valid for foreign exchange. There is also the worry about the restriction on the use of export proceed to only items valid for forex.
“However, the developments mean different things to different people. The LCCI has made preliminary comments on some of these policies. We were concerned in particular that some intermediate products were on the list of the 41 items excluded from the forex market”, he added.
Bello, informed the participants that the purpose of the gathering was to constructively engage the CBN on some of its policies, especially the ones relating to the management of foreign exchange.
He, however said it is a platform for stakeholders to ventilate their concerns and apprehension on the various policies of the CBN; and in a similar vein, an opportunity for the CBN to enlighten stakeholders on its policy choices and the inherent value proposition.
Continuing in his defence of the CBN forex policy, Tule told participants that the apex bank does not have enough foreign exchange to service importers of goods that can be locally manufactured.
He said: “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. The CBN is not earning much foreign exchange from crude oil thus the need to manage the little that is available.”