By NGOZI Onyeakusi—


In a bid to shun unnecessary importation in the country, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele
has urged the media to support move by the government aimed at achieving nations economic self reliance and industrialization.

According to him, CBN recently introduced the flexible foreign exchange regime, with FOREX restrictions placed on the importation of 41 items

Delivering a keynote address at the on-going 24th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Awka, Anambra State, Emefiele said there was need to establish appropriate structures that support robust domestic production while imports are used to supplement shortfalls of inputs or final products.

Dwelling on the theme: ‘Import Substitution and the Dynamics of Interest and Exchange Rates Management in Nigeria. Emefiele said, the move became imperative to curtail fast depleting foreign reserves, occasioned by the significant demand for imports in Nigeria.

Emefiele, represented by the CBN’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, pointed out that “CBN has consistently supported the economy with robust supply of foreign exchange to deposit money banks (DMBs) particularly to meet demands for invisibles such as school fees, medical tourism and personal travelling allowance. This has led to stability in the Naira exchange rate against the US Dollar.
“Furthermore, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was established to boost local production of rice, wheat and other agricultural products.
“It serves to create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable largescale processors, with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilization of processors.
“The ABP was initiated as a policy option to create an ecosystem that connects smallholder farmers to big processors, thereby creating increased income for the farer, jobs for the unemployed, and steady input supply for 9 agro-businesses.
“I am happy to note that the scheme has already boosted agricultural production and non-oil exports in the face of unpredictable crude oil prices and its resultant effect on the revenue profile of Nigeria.
“These have also helped to moderate volatility in the foreign exchange rate from anticipated decreases to demand for FOREX from increased domestic production of such hitherto imported commodities.”