Reps invite CBN gov for lifting forex ban on toothpicks, others

The lifting of the ban on foreign exchange for 43 items by the Central Bank of Nigeria may ruin local economy, a member of the House of Representatives, Sada Soli, warned on Tuesday on the floor of the House of Representatives.

This is just as the House invited the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso, to appear before it following the apex bank’s decision to lift the foreign exchange ban on fertiliser, cement, toothpick, and 40 other items.

Easitimes reports that the 43 items were in 2015 restricted from accessing forex at the official market rate.

CBN’s sudden decision to lift the ban comes against the backdrop of high volatility levels experienced in the foreign exchange market owing to the unification of all trading windows into the investors’ and exporters’ window (the official FX market) by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

The apex bank had in a statement issued by its Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin said, “The CBN reiterates that the prevailing Foreign Exchange (FX) rates should be referenced from platforms such as the CBN website, FMDQ, and other recognised or appointed trading systems to promote price discovery, transparency, and credibility in the FX rates.”

At a plenary session on Tuesday, the Green Chamber passed a resolution to summon the CBN governor following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Sada Soli, a member of the House representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency, Katsina State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Justifying the significance of the motion, Soli said the decision of the apex bank may lead to the closure of factories and ultimately erode the nation’s capacity to build the local economy.

In his words, it is doubtful if the new policy would make any meaningful impact on the Nigerian economy, stressing that “middlemen” may take undue advantage of it for their own good.

Contributing to the motion, a lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo II Federal Constituency, Lagos State, Jesse Onuakalusi, called for the immediate reversal of the policy until the House concludes a legislative action on the matter; a prayer that was rejected by the lawmakers.

An amendment to the motion by Kingsley Chinda, representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Rivers State noted that the Cardoso should appear before the House Committee on Regulatory Banking, Finance and Customs to explain the rationale behind the lifting of the ban was thereafter adopted.

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