ABCON urges speedy implementation of policy as CBN unbanned 43 items 

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure speedy implementations of policies as it lifts foreign exchange (forex) restrictions on the hitherto banned 43 items from importers.

The president of ABCON, Aminu Gwadabe, urged the apex bank while following the lifting of the ban.

He said, “My call to the CBN is to ensure speedy implementations of the policies.”

In a statement, ‘CBN Restates Commitment To Boost Liquidity in FOREX Market,’ signed by its director of corporate communications, Isa AbdulMumin, on Thursday, October 12, the apex bank said it had removed its embargo on the 43 items.

“Importers of all the 43 items previously restricted by the 2015 Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010, and its addendums are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market,” CBN stated.

The apex bank had in 2025 excluded some importers from accessing forex at the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NFEM), supposedly to encourage local production of the items.

It announced the ban in a June 23, 2015, circular signed by the Trade and Exchange Department director, Olakanmi Gbadamosi.

“For the avoidance of doubt, please note that these items are not banned, thus, importers desirous of importing these items shall do so using their own funds without any recourse to the Nigerian foreign exchange markets,” CBN stated in the circular.

The apex bank began by restricting importers of 41 items from accessing forex to import some goods and services. It later increased the number to 45 and down to 43.

The over eight-year embargo had worsened poverty, increased food inflation, and created forex scarcity, broadly affecting the Nigerian economy.

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On June 16, The ICIR recently reported that CBN insisted the 43 non-eligible items remain banned from accessing forex.

Unbanning the 43 items from accessing forex would deepen the market and stimulate bilateral trade and inward-looking industrialisation strategies, the ABCON president said. “It is a booster aimed at boosting confidence and eliminating uncertainties in the market.”

He, however, pointed out that the policy would entail reforms, compliance with official market rates and liquidity interventions.

The ABCON president stressed that CBN needs to emphasise intervention in the retail end sector, where the spikes are most pervasive through the effective pass-through of the Bureau de Change operators to close the gaps between the official and unofficial exchange rates.

“To enhance the buffers, the CBN should pursue a paradigm shift from demand measures to supply measures to boost the needed liquidity in the market,” Gwadabe added.

Commenting, the executive vice chairman of Highcap Securities Limited, David Adonri, said the reversal of the policy is a right step in the right direction.

However, he urged the authority to use its policies to ensure that the domestic substitutes for those 43 items achieve a competitive edge.




     

     

    “Beyond that, the new foreign exchange policy has already made the policy ineffective because forex for all imports is sourced at almost the same rate from the market.

    “The non-convergence of rates between the official market and parallel market is a market imperfection that will disappear very soon,” Adonri noted.

    He suggested that market mechanisms can better engender efficiency instead of administratively allocating forex, which the ban exemplified.

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    He added that if the fiscal enablers can enhance the market reforms, the supply gap at the root of the economic mess would be addressed.

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