$4.7 billion FX inflow recorded via I&E window says CBN, urges Nigeria to shun importation of eggs, toothpicks
By NGOZI Onyeakusi—
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) today disclosed that so far about US$4.7 billion of foreign exchange inflow has been recorded through the special Investors’ and Exporters (I&E) FX Window since April this year.
The CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele while making the disclosure urged Nigerians to shun unnecessary importations.
Delivery a keynote lecture at the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Emefiele stated that the special window which was introduced in April 2017, has tremendously facilitated market driven transaction even as it has catered for the FX needs of investors and exporters.
“As a result, we have seen an appreciably improved FX supply due to the introduction of the window. So far, about US$4.7 billion of foreign exchange inflow has been recorded through this window since April 2017.
Emefiele urged Nigerians to shun continuous dependence on other countries for things that can easily be produced locally adding that imports were a leakage to every economy.
“How do we justify the importation of items like eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpick from China if we are serious about jumpstarting economic growth in Nigerian and creating sustainable jobs for our people?, he queried.
Speaking further on ways of improving the nation’s import system, Emefiele assured that Investing in basic infrastructure including roads, bridges, airports, railways, and information technology would not only be good in terms of immediate job creation but would act as a catalyst to the movement of goods and services across the country.
He further highlighted the need for pursuit of agriculture adding that agriculture remained the largest employer of labour in Nigeria and contributes about 24.2 percent to the nation’s GDP.
He stated that a good share of the demand for FX today go directly to importing agricultural produce. “So, the CBN has both a direct and indirect rationale to ensure that this sector is revived in a significant way”
He further urged Nigerians to pursue non- oil export which was currently needed outside the country.
“From preliminary analyses of global trade trends and discussions with potential trade partners, it is now increasingly evident that Nigeria can benefit significantly from tapping into the market for certain goods, which are in high demand. For example, the demand for Halal meat and sesame across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries is huge. In fact, we have credible information that the Saudis may need up to 120,000 heads of frozen goat/sheep per week from Nigeria. Similarly, the demand for cashew nuts and shea-nut butter across the world is rising. Nigeria has comparative advantage in all these products and can quickly tap into the vacuum created from the sharp fall in supply of these products from their erstwhile major suppliers. From these, we can earn foreign exchange to bolster our Reserves while also creating jobs and engendering broad based economic growth” he assured.