The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has warned that it will not support the importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria following its resolve not to spend foreign exchange reserves on ventures that will not boost the economy and generate jobs for Nigerians.
The warning is sequel to a virtual meeting between Chief Executive Officers of conglomerates in Nigeria and the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Details of the meeting were disclosed in a press statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okoroafor.
The Governor further urged industrial conglomerates operating in the country to support efforts aimed at growing the Nigerian economy and returning it to its glory days.
Emefiele said the CBN, was determined to return the Nigerian economy to the period when the manufacturing and agricultural sectors formed the base of the economy.
The Governor, while acknowledging the challenge of low crude oil prices to major economies of the world, expressed confidence that the price of crude will not remain at low levels for a long period.
While also emphasizing that the low crude oil prices were surmountable, Emefiele said Nigeria’s foreign reserves of about $37Billion remained robust to support the economy.
He enjoined the conglomerates to key into the current administration’s drive of diversifying the base of the Nigerian economy by taking advantage of its large population to market their products, which he insisted could be produced in Nigeria and exported to the rest of the world.
He also pledged the Bank’s willingness to provide foreign exchange to companies that require such, for raw materials and machinery that could not be obtained in Nigeria.
‘‘With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) now billed to commence in January 2021, Nigeria provided the companies with immense opportunities to produce their items and make huge profits through the Nigerian market, which he noted was large enough to support their respective businesses’’. He said
Stressing further on the need to prioritise the Nigerian market, the CBN Governor assured the companies that the Bank will collaborate with the relevant government agencies to help nip smuggling in the bud, while also promising to protect their businesses to ensure they succeed in Nigeria.
‘‘The CBN is willing to collaborate with other fiscal authorities to improve on their ease of doing business in Nigeria, to simplify their import and export processes’’.