‘Food Import Forex Ban Not Beneficial To Masses’
Economic and public policy analysts have said the foreign exchange restriction on food imports is not beneficial to the masses.
These experts, while speaking at the fourth edition of the regulatory conversation, themed ‘Foreign exchange restrictions on food imports and implications for regulating and growing the nation’s economy’, advised the Central Bank of Nigeria not to be a rush in the implementation of its recent ban on access to foreign exchange for importers of milk.
They suggested that the apex bank should rather consult widely with stakeholders in order to find a way to harmonise the issue.
The Director, The Convention on Business Intergrity, Mr Olusoji Apampa, said though the forex restriction aimed to create more local jobs and save forex, it was accentuating pain for the poor without palliative or remedy.
Apampa said the forex restriction also created super profits for special interest groups suspected to have captured the regulator.
He added that the problem for industry would not be solved in the short- to medium term and costs would have to be passed on to consumers.
He stated that there was a need for inclusive business models that would improve access to good quality products by the poor, include the poor as producers earning higher incomes and employ the poor or partner with their collectives.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, said the restriction of forex on milk imports was a “game of forex.”
He said, “We have a situation whereby the CBN has taken over the matters of our trade markets. It is a major problem and it is causing a great disruption.
“The policy is a game on forex and we should let it go. The CBN is even telling us that more items will come on that list.”
Yusuf stated that regulatory challenges had been responsible for the collapse of many businesses in Nigeria.