By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has condemned the directive to commercial banks in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make 60% forex available to the manufacturing sector.
In a statement issued at the weekend, the Chamber described the allocation of 60% of foreign exchange to the manufacturing sector as policy inconsistency.
LCCI remarked that the action may pose risk to efficient allocation of foreign exchange to many other users.
The Chamber noted that investors’ confidence was yet to return to various segments of the economy.
The CBN gave the directive to the banks in a letter dated August 22, 2016, and signed by its acting Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr W.D. Gotring.
It had said in the letter that, “Following the review of returns on the disbursement of foreign exchange to end users, it has been observed that a negligible proportion of foreign exchange sales are being channelled towards the importation of raw materials for the manufacturing sector.
“Against this background and in order to address the observed imbalance, authorised dealers are hereby directed to henceforth dedicate 60 per cent of total foreign exchange purchases from all sources (interbank inclusive) to end users strictly for the purpose of importation of raw materials, plant and machinery.
“The balance of 40 per cent should be used to meet other trade obligations, visible and invisible transactions. For the avoidance of doubt, authorised dealers are to continue to publish weekly sales of FX to end users in the national newspapers and to render statutory returns on same to the CBN promptly. Please ensure compliance accordingly, until otherwise advised.”