Atedo Peterside backs CBN on removal of FX restriction on 43 items


Atedo Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and
Anap Foundation, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made the right move to
lift the ban on the 43 items initially restricted from accessing foreign
exchange (FX).


Peterside’s position comes hours after the apex bank
announced that importers of the items can now purchase FX from the country’s
official market.


Some of the items include rice, cement, margarine, palm
kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products,
vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste,
soap, cosmetics, and head pans.


The lifting of the ban means that importers of these items
can now buy FX from the official window at ‘cheaper rates’.


Reacting to the development in an X post on Friday,
Peterside said the financial regulator made the right call to discourage the
use of FX policy as a determinant of profitability for importers.


“Attacking a problem at source: CBN is right (See Circular)
to discourage use of FX policy as a determinant of which importer achieves what
margin of profitability. That is the role of levies and tariffs,” the post


“FX market exclusions only fuel the parallel market and
widen arbitrage.”


Nigeria’s FX market has continued to fluctuate since the
introduction of the unification of all trading windows into the investors’ and
exporters’ (I&E) window — the official FX market.


On Wednesday, the naira fell to a new all-time low, trading
at N1,045 to the dollar in the street markets. The depreciation was sustained
at the official market at N776.


The CBN said the new policies are part of plans to stabilise
the FX market, stating that it would boost liquidity in the market by
intervening “from time to time”.


The apex bank said as market liquidity improves, its
interventions will “gradually decrease”.


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