‘Sustain ban on 41 items to promote local production’

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An economist, Rasheed Yusuf, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sustain its ban on the import of 41 items from accessing foreign exchange (forex) at the official window to promote their local production and generate more jobs.

Yusuf, who is also Chief Executive Officer, Trust Yield Securities, gave the advice during a briefing  in Lagos.

He said the apex bank should extend its intervention into more agricultural produce, such as wheat, to attain food sufficiency in future.

“The continuous intervention will enable the agric sector contribute more to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create job opportunities for the youths,” Yusuf said.

The CBN, on June 23, 2015,  banned forex for the import of 41 items to conserve reserves and encourage local production of the items.

The items include rice, cement, meat, vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry chicken, eggs, turkey and tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardines.

Others include clothes, plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules, cellophane wrappers, textiles, soap and cosmetics, tomatoes/tomato pastes, and toothpick.

Yusuf advised the CBN to ensure that the issue of high-lending rate was addressed to spur growth.

He said many investors could not expand their businesses because of the high-lending rate by commercial banks.

He added that the Investors and Exporters (IE) foreign exchange window should be maintained because the decision had reduced the pressure on the currency.

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