In 5 Months, Nigeria Spends about $1bn on Food Imports – CBN

In 5 Months, Nigeria Spends about $1bn on Food Imports – CBN

In 5 Months, Nigeria Spends about $1bn on Food Imports – CBN

by July 14, 2015 0 comments

The ‎Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that staggering amount of about $949 was spent on food imports over the past five months in the country.

The Director of Monetary Policy, CBN, Mr. Moses Tule ‎during a private sector dialogue on foreign exchange policy organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), explained that between January and May this year, CBN spent $575 million on importation of wheat, $374 million on fish importation and $349 billion on electrical and electronics.

 

According to him, some of the items on the list are what we can produce in Nigeria, “with the level of unemployment we have in the country, CBN must ensure that the economy survived and private sectors create jobs.”

 

‎He said inclusion of some imported goods and services on the list of items not valid for foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange markets is aimed to boost local production in the nation.

 

The forum gave opportunities to stakeholders to engage the CBN on the recent foreign exchange policies, especially the new list of items excluded from the foreign exchange market, the limitations imposed on the use export proceeds and related issues.

 

In his words, “At the point where we are, if we are ‎producing some of these imported items into the country, there is no reason whatsoever to import them. Nigeria does not have the capacity to keep importing. Nigeria iss Africa’s number one economy, so we should be able to produce and most of the things that were banned are items we can produce locally.”

 

He noted that the move to ban some of those items would  create jobs opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths, stating that Nigeria  must stop creating jobs for its  counterparts when issues of unemployment in the country is yet to be addressed.

 

“Our manufacturing sector should rise to the occasion knowing that there is an existing market for their products,” he said

 

Earlier, the President LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello said a major concern in the business environment in the last couple of months was the volatility of the exchange rate.

 

“The consequences have been profound, especially for companies with high foreign exchange ‎exposure. It has posed serious challenges for planning in many enterprises.”

 

Bello also expressed concerns in some intermediate products on the list of the 41 items excluded from the foreign exchange market.

 

“There was the closure of RDAS, and only recently, there is also the worry about the restriction on the use of export proceeds to only items valid for forex,” he stressed.

 

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Coleman Wires and Cables, Mr. George Onofowokan said CBN decision can lead to unemployment in the country.

 

According to him, “Lack of definition of items by CBN can make wire and cable industries close their shops and banks denied us foreign exchange to import what we cannot produce locally.”

 

There is a particular type of wire whereby only two companies produce throughout the continent, we can produce it here and we need it to survive, he said.

 

He stressed that, “Under the list, item 20 wire and rods, there is no definition and banks are rejecting our application for foreign exchange, we are of the view that some of the products listed are not defined, indirectly the whole wire industry will shut down and people will lose their jobs.”

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