Lagos – A financial expert, Mr Femi Ekundayo, on Monday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include more items on the list of banned products for importation.
Ekundayo, who is a former president of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The financial expert said that the sustainability of the new forex policy depended in the main on the inclusion of more items on the list of the 41 banned products for imports.
“There are items that do not fall within our priority. These items should be put under the banned list.
“The point is that those items that need to be banned which are not banned presently are strong competitors for scarce foreign exchange.
“Adding to the list will to a large extent determine the sustainability of the new policy,’’ Ekundayo said.
The expert said the ban was necessary to allow for the local production of items that were previously imported.
Citing the revolution in the cement industry, Ekundayo said that such initiative could be replicated in other spheres of the nation’s industrial life.
The former banker said that the endorsement of the new forex policy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should not lead to a loan negotiation with the Breton Wood institution.
While expressing confidence in the new policy, the former CIBN boss said it was worrisome that the Nigerian economy was still substantially import dependent.
NAN reports that the CBN had on June 23, 2015 issued a circular banning 41 items preventing importers from accessing foreign exchange for their importation.
The CBN said that the implementation of the policy would assist in conserving the nation’s foreign reserve as well as resuscitate domestic industries and generate employment.
With a year since the implementation of the policy and the gradual depletion of the nation’s foreign reserve, the apex bank issued a new guideline for the liberalisation of the forex market.
The CBN said that the new policy would reduce pressure on the value of the Naira. (NAN)