Nigeria bans importations of Maize/corn, as CBN restricts forex access to importers
Nigeria on Monday announced a ban on the importations of maize/corn as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) discontinued the processing of Forms ‘M’ for the importations of the commodity.
In a circular issued and signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange, O.S Nnaji, the CBN said banks should submit the list of Forms ‘M’ already registered for the importations of Maize/corn with immediate effect.
The regulatory bank said the bank was part of its efforts to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase local job creations.
Maize/corn is usually used as raw materials for producers of industrial starch and feeds for livestock farmers who are unable to meet the requirements from local suppliers.
The regulatory bank’s move was, however, seen by analysts as part of measures to conserve the dwindling foreign exchange reserves of the country, impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus and decline in the global crude oil prices.
Nigeria currently struggling to meet mounting demands for foreign exchange by both local and offshore investors trying to repatriate their money back to their home country.
Currency dealers told Global Financial Digest on Monday that backlog of foreign exchange demand now stands at $7 billion, with many offshore portfolio investors unable to get dollars from the domestic market to move their funds to a safe haven.
In 2016, the CBN excluded 41 items from accessing foreign exchange on the official window in the wake of dollar shortages and declining foreign exchange reserves.
Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell further to $36.13 billion by July 9, as Nigeria continues to deal with the sharp drop in incomes from its major commodity, crude oil.
Analysts are expecting an immediate sharp increase in domestic prices of the commodity as local manufacturers who require it as raw materials and feed millers scramble for the available maize/corn from farmers.
“We also immediate increase in the prices of all the byproducts manufacture from maize, while prices of livestock is also expected to rise in response to the latest ban,” an economist told Global Financial Digest.#GFD