Goods with local equivalents will no longer have the foreign exchange (forex) support of the central bank to import them as Nigeria grapples with a rapidly declining international reserves that saw its balance shrink by $11.25 billion from the roughly eleven-month period from 11th June last year to 7th May this year.
“The CBN will not support the importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria because the bank would not spend its foreign exchange reserves on what would not boost the economy and generate jobs for Nigerians,” Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank chief, said in a statement released by the CBN Tuesday.
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Government’s ambition, Mr Emefiele said, was to reinstate Africa’s largest economy to the position where the agriculture and manufacturing sectors would be its key pivots.
He expressed optimism about the future price of oil regardless of the threats that the oil crash posed to major global economies, affirming that the country’s foreign reserves with a current balance of $37 billion was substantial enough to support the economy.
Emefiele urged conglomerates to leverage government’s vision of broadening the economy by utilising Nigeria’s population strength to drive products sales locally and even exports beyond its borders.
The CBN reasserted its commitment to supply forex to firms wanting to import machines and raw materials unavailable in Nigeria into the country.