The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on Friday said the apex bank has been directed to blacklist any firm, its owner and top executives caught smuggling any of the 43 items ineligible for foreign exchange (forex).
The CBN governor, who made the disclosure during a meeting with oil palm producers in Abuja on Friday said investigation into the accounts of some found culpable of importing the produce has already commenced.
Emefiele said, “Another part of the Presidential directive also says that we should blacklist from the foreign exchange market, and the banking industry, all firms their owners, and their top management, caught smuggling or dumping any of the restricted 43 items into Nigeria.”
“Our economic intelligence department has started investigating the accounts of some of you who are involved in smuggling or dumping palm oil into Nigeria and we feel that before any actions are taken against you, in terms of blocking you from the foreign exchange market or blacklisting you from doing banking in Nigeria, that we must invite you to say that we are drawing a line and that importation of palm oil in Nigeria must stop.
“We must expand, seek to give support to people who want to expand the production of this product in Nigeria.”
According to Emefiele, the President has equally ordered the expansion and support of firms and individuals engaged in the production of ten different commodities including oil palm, rice, maize, cassava, tomatoes, cotton, poultry, fish, livestock dairy and cocoa.
It will be recalled that the CBN in June 2015, excluded importers of 41 items from accessing foreign exchange at the official exchange rate, a move aimed at encouraging local production of the items.
The list later rose to 43 with the inclusion of texile products and fertilizer.