Photograph — Brand Spur

In a bid to curb the demand for foreign exchange on the importation of hygiene products into Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to include hand sanitizers amongst commodities that are not eligible for foreign exchange (FX) from its official forex window.

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the disclosure at the Going for Growth 2.0,’ roundtable which happened in Abuja.

During the session, the Chief Executive of Emzor Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited, Mrs Stella Okoli, posed an issue, that most of the hand sanitizers seen in the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus were imported.

In Emifele’s response, buyers pay with Naira (the official currency of Nigeria) when purchasing the hygiene products in various retail stores, so, therefore, it is not justifiable to use dollars in acquiring the items from China.

He further emphasized that the importation of hand sanitizer trade will trigger the CBN to red flag or blacklist hygiene items. 

It would be recalled that the price of hand sanitizers became a national issue after the discovery of coronavirus in Nigeria, this prompted the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission-FCCPC to warn retailers about the cynical hike in the price of hygiene products.

Considering the fact that Nigerian pharmaceutical companies are capable of producing quality hand sanitizers and other hygiene products, regardless of the setbacks in the manufacturing sector, it will be logical for the CBN to prioritize them over other importer’s that are only profit-driven.

Emefiele also addressed internal and external challenges to the required input from critical stakeholders and participants, who could generate great, workable ideas and solutions.

“We must all work together in order to harness the true potential of our nation. This one-day roundtable session will address some of the measures needed to drive double-digit growth rate in Nigeria’’ Emefiele said.

Additionally, he believes the country must improve productivity in agriculture and manufacturing sectors while tasking itself on how to develop models that would enhance the quality of our energy and transport infrastructure.

The CBN governor, further made mention of how Nigerians working in the creative and IT sector can expand and even obtain the value of their work, while they create jobs; generating export revenues for Nigeria. 

All findings generated from the roundtable gathering were presented to the president of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the end of the summit.

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