CBN To Intervene In Forex Market, Lifts Ban On 43 Items

CBN Restates Commitment To Boost Liquidity in FOREX Market

1. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to promote orderliness and professional conduct by all participants in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to ensure market forces determine exchange rates on a Willing Buyer- Willing Seller principle.

2. The CBN reiterates that the prevailing Foreign Exchange (FX) rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CBN website, FMDCQ, and other recognised or appointed trading systems to promote price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the FX rates.

3. As part of its responsibility to ensure price stability, the CBN will boost liquidity in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market by interventions from time to time. As market liquidity improves, these CBN interventions will gradually decrease.

4. Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEMFPC/GEN/O1/010 and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.

5. The CBN is committed to accelerating efforts to clear the FX backlog with existing participants and will continue dialogue with stakeholders to address the issue.

6. The CBN has set as one of its goals the attainment of a single FX market. Consultation is ongoing with market participants to achieve this goal.

Participants and the general public are to be guided by the above.

Isa AbdulMumin, PhD
Director, Corporate Communications
October 12, 2023

In June 2015, the Central Bank announced that some 41 items were “Not Valid for Foreign Exchange”, on the grounds that they could easily be produced in Nigeria rather than being imported into the country.

Some of the affected items include rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste, soap and cosmetics, and clothes.

Other items include private airplanes/jets, Indian incense, tinned fish in sauce, cold rolled steel sheets, galvanised steel sheets, roofing sheets, wheelbarrows, head pans, metal boxes/containers, enamel ware, steel drums and pipes, wire mesh, steel nails, wood particle boards, and panels.

Equally affected were security and razor wire, wood particle and fiber boards and panels, wooden doors, furniture, toothpicks, glass/glassware, kitchen utensils, tableware, tiles (vitrified, ceramics), textiles, wooden fabrics, plastic/rubber products, polypropylene granules, and cellophane wrappers.

The apex bank subsequently added fertiliser and maize/corn to the list of banned items.

According to the apex bank at the time, the I&E market functions by a “willing buyer, willing seller” system, where an entity with demand for FX seeks out another entity with FX to sell at an agreed price through an authorised dealer.