The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) yesterday read the riot act to individuals and organisations who attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the list of 41 item not eligible for foreign exchange by ensuring that they do not have any access to banking services in the country.
Speaking at the Bankers Dinner yesterday, governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele said it has become imperative for drastic steps to be taken to ensure that the gains made through the restrictions of the 41 items are not eroded.
Emefiele noted that “given the remarkable success that has been achieved in stimulating domestic production of goods such as rice, cassava and maize, as a result of the restrictions placed by the CBN on access to forex for 41 items, the CBN intends to vigorously ensure that this policy remains in place.”
Consequently, he said CBN’s Economic intelligence and Banking Supervision Departments will work very hard with the EFCC to expose and sanction any, bank, company or foreign exchange operator that colludes with unscrupulous individuals / companies to undermine the policy on 41 items.
Such sanctions he said will include, but not limited to prohibiting the banks from maintaining any bank accounts for such institutions or persons in Nigeria.
He furthered that additional efforts would be made to block any attempts unscrupulous parties(both individuals and corporates) that intend to find other avenues of accessing forex, in order to import these items into Nigeria.
On creating credit lines that will further grow the economy, he said the bank will explore the possibility of leveraging technology to enhance credit to critical sectors of the economy, especially, agriculture and manufacturing.
“Our recently announced policy to refund portions of CRR to banks that are financing new projects (or expanding existing ones) in agriculture and manufacturing sectors will be intensified and enriched in the coming years. This, we believe, will bolster job creation while supporting our agenda to correct Nigeria’s imbalances and vulnerabilities.
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