News Investigators/ The House of Representatives on Monday summoned the Central Bank governor, Yemi Cardoso for explanation on his decision to reverse earlier policy prohibiting 43 items from official FX platform.
Mr. Cardosso would appear before House Committees on Banking Regulation and Customs to explain the rationale behind the policy reversal on the 43 items prohibited by the Buhari administration.
The decision followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) on Tuesday during the plenary.
Mr Soli said the decision by the apex bank would have a negative impact on local production by exposing the Nigerian market to unfair competition.
He argued that the reversal policy was capable of shutting down the factories in the country.
Accordibg to him, “The 43 items are part of the import prohibition list to protect local production of goods like rice, cement, palm oil and among others.
“The policy by the CBN will force local manufacturers to hold the short end of the stick. The 43 items formed the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Speaking on the motion, Jesse Onuakalusi (LP, Lagos) moved an amendment for the CBN to suspend the new policy pending the intervention by the House.
The amendment motion was however rejected by the lawmakers.
Following a voice vote on the motion by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, the House resolved to invite Mr. Cardosso to appear before its committees to explain himself.
It would be recalled that in 2015, the CBN suspended allocation of foreign exchange to the importation of 43 items which could be locally produced within the country.
In June 2015, the Central Bank announced that some 41 items were “Not Valid for Foreign Exchange” because they could easily be produced in Nigeria rather than being imported into the country. Some of the affected items include rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, poultry, tomatoes/tomato paste, soap and cosmetics, and clothes.
Other items include private aeroplanes/jets, Indian incense, tinned fish in sauce, cold rolled steel sheets, galvanized steel sheets, roofing sheets, wheelbarrows, head pans, metal boxes/containers, enamelware, steel drums and pipes, wire mesh, steel nails, wood particle boards, and panels.
Equally affected were security and razor wire, wood particle and fibre boards and panels, wooden doors, furniture, toothpicks, glass/glassware, kitchen utensils, tableware, tiles (vitrified, ceramics), textiles, wooden fabrics, plastic/rubber products, polypropylene granules, and cellophane wrappers.
The CBN subsequently added fertiliser and maize/corn to the list of banned items.