CBN Seeks Tighter Import Control
By NGOZI Onyeakusi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it was working towards adoption of policies to discourage importation into the country.
This, according to the apex was to end sustained high volume of imports despite the huge decline in foreign exchange earning,
This is coming as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has estimated total value of capital imported into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2017 at $1.79 billion. Capital importation denotes inflow of foreign currency into the country in cash or goods by investors or lenders.
In a report released Wednesday, NBS noted that foreign currency inflow in the second quarter was $884.1 million more than thefigure recorded in Q1 2017, representing a growth of 95 percent.
Speaking on “The Dilemma of Monetary Policy during a Recession:Potential Options for Nigeria,” at the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) conference in Lagos, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, advocated three policy measures for engineering economic growth and curbing inflation.
These, according to him, include rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure; jumpstarting agriculture and agribusiness; boosting non-oil exports as well as formulation and implementation of import-reducing policies.
He said: “Given the persisting drop in oil prices, we need to take bold and decisive actions at fundamentally changing the structure of our economy. I have always talked about the damaging effects of Nigeria’s unsustainable propensity to import.
“In line with Winston Churchill’s admonition to ‘never let a good crisis go to waste,’ the CBN believes that it is high time we started looking inwards and stopped supporting the importation of items that we can produce locally using Nigeria’s hard-earned foreign exchange.
“While such policies may seem controversial, its variants have proven to be highly effective in other climes and even here in Nigeria.