In a circular dated June 23rd, 2015 the central bank of Nigeria published a list of imported goods and services that will not be valid for foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
According to the statement issued by the central bank at the time, the list was published “in the continuing effort to sustain the stability of the foreign exchange market and ensure the efficient utllization of foreign exchange and the derivation of optimum benefits from goods and services imported Into the country.”
It further stated that in order to encourage local production of these items, it had to exclude importers of some goods and services from accessing foreign exchange at the Nigerian foreign exchange markets.
In exchange, the central bank believed that the policy will help conserve foreign reserves as well as facilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries and improve employment generation.
The list was initially 41 when it was announced but the central bank included two more items.
It’s 8 years since then and the jury is out on whether this policy has worked or not.
In response to calls from our readers, we provide a list of the 43 items that are illegible for accessing Nigeria’s forex market.
- 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 (Gelsha)/Sardines
- Cold Rolled Steel Sheets
- Galvanized Steel Sheets
- Roofing Sheets
- Head Pans
- Metal Boxes and Containers
- Steel Drums
- Steel Pipes
- Wire Rods (deformed and not deformed)
- Iron Rods and ReInforcina Bars
- Wire Mesh
- Steel Nalls
- Security and Razor Wire
- Wood Particle Boards and Panels
- Wood Fiber Boards and Panels
- Plywood Boards and Panels
- Wooden Doors
- Glass and Glassware
- Kitchen Utensils
- Tiles – vitrified and ceramic
- Woven Fabrics
- Plastic and Rubber Products, Cellophane Wrappers
- Soap and cosmetics
- Tomatoes/Tomato Pastes
- Euro bond/Foreign Currency Bond/Share Purchases
Note: While the list is 43, each item on the list includes several other sub-items as captured by the Nigerian Customs using their import codes list.
The above list does not also mean that the items on it are banned from being imported. They are just banned from accessing forex from the official investor and exporter window.