Reps summon CBN Gov over lifting of ban on 43 Items

The House of Representatives has summoned the Central Bank (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso to appear before it to justify the rationale for lifting the ban on the importation of 43 items.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had lifted the foreign exchange restrictions it placed on importers of 43 items eight years ago.

This summons comes after the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance introduced by Sada Soli, a lawmaker from Katsina State.

Soli, in his motio as almost all the 43 items are from two critical sectors which have been identified by all policy documents from NEEDS, SEEDS to Vision 2022 as being areas that are critical to economic diversification.

“Some of the listed items enjoy 60%-70% subsidy from their countries of origin, thus putting Nigeria’s local products at a comparative disadvantage and without any protection, and will lead to job losses and social exclusion.

“The benefit of the cheaper imported inputs as stated by the CBN will give undue advantage to middlemen to drive the economy, which is inimical to our economic growth and not suitable to the current unified FOREX market in the country.”

The lawmaker expressed worry that Nigeria will not be competitive in the African Continental Free Trade Area if its markets are flooded with imported finished goods.

He noted that the decision followed the rising food inflation in the country which has significantly impacted the economy and the purchasing power of consumers in the country.

Soli said that, in reality, the lifting of the FOREX restriction on the importation of 43 items may not have a meaningful impact on the rising food inflation as a result of the soaring exchange rate.

The House referred the motion to the Committees on Finance, Customs, and Banking Regulation, mandating them to carry out the assignments within two weeks and report back for further legislative action.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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