Nigeria lost $1.4bn in 8 years over CBN’s ban on 43 items – Cardoso

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Olayemi Cardoso Nigeria lost a total of $1.4bn in 8 years over CBN’s ban on 43 items.

Cardoso disclosed this at the 58th Annual Bankers’ Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Friday in Lagos.

He, however, explained that the apex bank had implemented restrictions on accessing foreign exchange for the importation of these items.

Cardoso emphasised that the issue of trade policy, specifically the importation and sale of the 43 items, was primarily within the domain of the fiscal authorities, not the CBN.

This distinction, he said, was important because it clarifies that the CBN’s decision to lift the foreign exchange restrictions on these items was not intended to encroach upon the responsibilities of other government agencies.

Recall that the CBN had in a circular in June 2015, published a list of imported goods and services that will not be eligible for foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign currency market.

The list which was originally 41 was updated to include two more items.

But the CBN precisely on October 12 2023, announced that it had lifted the ban on the issuance of foreign exchange for the importation of rice, vegetable oil, and poultry products among other 43 items.

Cardoso said, “Allow me to provide further clarification on the issue of the 43 items.

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