By Elizabeth Adegbesan
THE Central Bank of Nige-ria (CBN) yesterday extended foreign exchange (forex) restriction to importation of maize/corn, making it 44 items affected by its forex restrictions. The CBN had in 2016 restricted 41 items from access to officially sourced forex.
Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the apex bank to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country. This was followed by forex restrictions on importation of fertilizer, milk and dairy products in January and February 2020 respectively.
In a circular to all authorized dealers and the general public, the apex bank explained that the forex restriction on maize was aimed at increasing local production of the commodity while stimulating economic recovery, safe guard rural livelihoods and increase jobs.
A circular signed by Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, O.S Nnaji, stated: “As part of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase jobs which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVlD-19 pandemic, authorised dealers are hereby directed to discontinue the processing of Forms M for the importation of maIze/corn with immediate effect.
“Accordingly, all authorised dealers are hereby requested to submit the list of Forms M already registered for the importation of maize/corn using the attached format on or before the close of business on Wednesday July 15, 2020. Please ensure strict compliance. “