by Nduka Chiejina,
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made available $660million foreign exchange through the inter-bank market to boost sector.
The apex bank said it took the step so as to keep with its promise to strengthen the real sector of the economy by ensuring that 60 per cent of available forex goes to manufacturers, essentially to procure industrial inputs, such as raw materials, machine spare-parts, telecom equipment, plastic raw materials, agricultural machines and pre-payment meters, amongst others.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor, said the regulator is committed to ensuring that manufacturers of goods for which Nigeria does not enjoy comparative advantage, are able to get letters of credit (LCs) to import the required materials for their businesses.
Citing the case of some manufacturing industries in Nigeria, which had posted huge turnovers since the CBN introduced restrictions on the sourcing of FOREX for 41 items from the inter-bank market, Okorafor said the restriction has yielded positive results.
He urged manufacturers to take advantage of the policy, stressing that it is part of the CBN’s effort to ensure that Nigeria reclaims its status as a major producer through the backward integration initiatives, and as well serve to conserve billions of Foreign Exchange spent on import bills annually.
“This injection would provide a new lease of life in the manufacturing sub-sector, thereby boosting industrial output and employment. This goes to buttress the commitment of the apex Bank to rejuvenate and sustain industrial activities and retention of jobs.”
The CBN said it will continue to support and facilitate hitch-free procurement of necessary industrial inputs in order to sustain productive activities in the manufacturing sector