Forex Ban: Nigerians Imported N18tn Cooking oil, Meat, Others in Seven Years

by John Ojewale
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CBN Central Bank of Nigeria Forex

Findings have shown that Nigerians imported more than nine items worth N18.12 trillion from the Nigerian Central Bank’s forex ban list between 2016 and 2022.

The CBN had categorised about 41 import items as not valid for forex, which means that the importer will not be able to get forex from the apex bank for such items.

Apex Bank said this restriction is part of its efforts to maintain stability in the foreign exchange market, ensure the effective use of foreign exchange, and obtain optimal profits from goods and services imported into the country.

Nigerian Customs Customs does not prohibit or ban the importation of these items, so they can still be imported.

Analysis by National Bureau of Statistics:

The National Bureau of Statistics analyzed Nigerian Foreign Trade reports from 2016 to 2022. The analysis revealed that various items were imported from various countries. The list of imported items included crude palm oil, vegetable, and animal products. Other items include meat, vegetable fats and oil, steel products, rubber, plastic, clothes, and textiles. All of these items were imported from other countries during the analyzed period.

Further breakdown showed that crude palm oil got a total of N283.8bn in seven years, with N39.5bn spent in 2017, N20.2bn in 2018, N19.1bn in 2019, N134.8bn in 2021 and N70.2bn in 2022. The item didn’t record any transactions in 2016 and 2020.

N4.8tn was spent on vegetable products, with N283.2bn spent in 2016, N295.8bn in 2017, N407.6bn in 2018, N443bn in 2019, N1.1tn in 2020, N945.4bn in 2021, and N1.3tn in 2022.

Further Breakdown:

Animal products recorded trade of N3.3trn with N664.3bn imported in 2016, N190.9bn in 2017, N365.3bn in 2018, N221bn in 2019, N793.5bn in 2020, N485.8bn in 2021 and N549.6bn in 2022.

Mackerel meat recorded N491bn with N11.2bn in 2016, N27.5bn in 2017, N239.5bn in 2018, N37.92bn in 2019, N62.73bn in 2020, N95.3bn in 2021, and N17.1bn in 2022.

The CBN official market restricted access to FX for several items. Among the prohibited items is blue whiting’s frozen meat. Blue Whiting’s frozen meat has seen continuous importation since 2017. The import value of meat increased yearly from N10.5bn to N41.5bn in 2022. The product, however, didn’t record any purchases in 2016.

Imported vegetable fats and oil goods totaled N2.1trn with N35.5bn spent in 2016, N954.4bn in 2017, N72.9bn in 2018, N62.1bn in 2019, N482.3bn in 2020, N292.6bn in 2021 and N165.9bn in 2022.

Steel products, certain types of fish, and clothes are amongst the items with single recorded transactions. The transactions were only noted in 2017, 2020, or 2021. The value of the single-transaction steel products purchased in 2017 was N31.9bn. Clothes and certain fish types had one recording each in 2020 and 2021, amounting to N24.6bn and N62.75bn, respectively.

Spenders used N5.15tn on rubber and plastic, whereas N1.67tn was spent on textiles.

The data presented that importers spent N336.47bn on rubber and plastic in 2016. N79.9bn was spent on textiles in the same period.

The figures from the NBS also revealed that in 2017, N405.47bn was spent on rubber and plastics imports. Similarly, N102.62bn was spent on importing textiles in the same year.

cc: Punch Ng

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