CBN Lifts Ban on 43 Restricted Items, Eases Access to Foreign Exchange Markets

CBN Lifts Ban on 43 Restricted Items, Eases Access to Foreign Exchange Markets

Latiifah Amusan


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the lifting of a long-standing ban on 43 essential items previously restricted from accessing foreign exchange (forex) through the investor’s and exporters’ (I&E) window.

The decision, which took effect on Thursday, marks a significant shift in the nation’s economic policy.

Initially, in 2015, the CBN imposed restrictions on 41 items, denying them access to the I&E window, the country’s official forex market.

Importers of these commodities were consequently compelled to obtain foreign exchange from the black market, where rates often soared.

Over the years, the apex bank incrementally added two more items to the list in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

The impact of these restrictions on the Nigerian economy has been substantial, leading to concerns about foreign exchange scarcity and black-market trading.

In an official statement released on Thursday, the CBN declared that importers of these 43 previously restricted items are now permitted to purchase foreign exchange in the official market, a decision expected to have far-reaching consequences for businesses and consumers alike.

The list of items that are no longer subject to forex restrictions are;

▪︎ Rice

▪︎ Cement

▪︎ Margarine

▪︎ Palm kernel/palm oil products/vegetable oils

▪︎ Meat and processed meat products

▪︎ Vegetables and processed vegetable products

▪︎ Poultry chicken, eggs, turkey

▪︎ Private airplanes/jets

▪︎ Indian incense

▪︎ Tinned fish in sauce (geisha)/sardines

▪︎ Cold rolled steel sheets

▪︎ Galvanised steel sheets

▪︎ Roofing sheets

▪︎ Wheelbarrows

▪︎ Head pans

▪︎ Metal boxes and containers

▪︎ Enamelware

▪︎ Steel drums

▪︎ Steel pipes

▪︎ Wire rods (deformed and not deformed)

▪︎ Iron rods and reinforcing bars

▪︎ Wire mesh

▪︎ Steel nails

▪︎ Security and razor wire

▪︎ Wood particle boards and panels

▪︎ Wood fiber boards and panels

▪︎ Plywood boards and panels

▪︎ Wooden doors

▪︎ Furniture

▪︎ Toothpicks

▪︎ Glass and glassware

▪︎ Kitchen utensils

▪︎ Tableware

▪︎ Tiles – vitrified and ceramic

▪︎ Textiles

▪︎ Woven fabrics

▪︎ Clothes

▪ Plastic and rubber products, cellophane wrappers

▪︎ Soap and cosmetics

▪︎ Tomatoes/tomato pastes

▪︎ Euro bond/foreign currency bond/share purchases

▪︎ Maize/corn

▪︎ Fertiliser

The removal of these restrictions is poised to stimulate economic growth, boost local industries, and provide relief to consumers who have been affected by the high costs of these goods.



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