41 items still banned under China currency swap deal – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the Nigeria-China currency swap deal will not cover the importation of the 41 items banned in its 2015 circular on items not valid for foreign exchange.

CBN’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

According to him, this will ensure the currency deal did not stifle local companies and make Nigeria a dumping ground for Chinese goods.

Okorafor said the CBN had already taken adequate measures to ensure that doesn’t happen.

“The fear is unfounded and I’ll give you reasons why. The first one is that we are going to focus on exports to China. Also, remember that we already export cassava products to China as well as leather, hides and skin to China amongst others.

“So this deal will open further the export market to China. Also, I want Nigerians to know that the items that will come in are not necessarily finished goods, so the issue of Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for China does not arise.

“This is because the 41 items that had initially been banned from the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market will still not qualify under the deal,” he said.

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The CBN recently signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Republic of China worth about N720 billion.

On June 23, 2015, the CBN placed a ban on accessing foreign exchange in the official foreign exchange market for the importation of some goods and services. (NAN)

The aim was to encourage local production of these items, conserve foreign reserves, resuscitate domestic industries and improve employment.

Some of the items banned were rice, cement, poultry, tinned fish, furniture, toothpicks, kitchen utensils, table wares, textiles, clothes, tomato pastes, soap and cosmetics.

Okorafor said with the Nigeria-China currency swap deal, the Naira was expected to appreciate against the US dollars as the demand for dollars eases.

“China accounts for a quarter or more of imports into Nigeria. “The exchange of currencies between the Nigerian Central Bank and the Chinese Central Bank will make it easier for our entrepreneurs to have direct access to foreign exchange in Renminbi,” he noted. (NAN)

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