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Nigerians Bypass CBN’s Dollar Ban To Import N385 billion Worth Of Sugar

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Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) placing sugar in the restriction list of the foreign exchange, the country imported N385 billion worth of the commodity in the first half of 2022.

Within the period, the price of sugar rose from $397 to $443 per tonne in one month, with the N385 billion spent on the importation of 965,000 metric tonnes of brown sugar between January to June, Trade Data Monitor (TDM) revealed.

Recall that in April 2021, the central bank had placed sugar in its FX restriction list, which prevented sugar importers from obtaining foreign currencies from the official foreign exchange market.

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This leaves traders to depend on the black market for dollar and other international currencies. Forex in the parallel market is more expensive, with dollar exchanging at N645, while the United States greenback sells for N430 in the official foreign exchange market.

“Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them.” The central bank wrote on its official Twitter account.

The foreign exchange restriction list had been introduced in 2015 to support local production, and weaken importation of foods and other goods that could be produced within Nigeria.

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Prime Business Africa understands that the FX ban list was also meant to improve foreign reserves and increase availability of foreign exchange for goods not produced in Nigeria, and other businesses.

“In the continuing effort to sustain the stabillty of the foreign exchange market and ensure the efficient utlllzatlon of foreign exchange and the derlvatlon of optimum benefit from goods and services imported Into the country, It has become Imperative to exclude importers of some goods and services from accessing foreign exchange at the Nigerian forelgn exchange markets In order to encourage local production of these Items.”

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