The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN may increase the items on the foreign exchange restriction list from 42 to 50 in order to boost local production and stimulate the export market.

This was part of what the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele said on Saturday during an inspection of the refinery being built by Dangote Group at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.

Emefiele said the CBN would get more aggressive in ensuring that more items being imported into the country are added to the forex restriction list.

Describing the Dangote refinery as a transformational project for Nigeria, Emefiele said the project keyed into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which includes: conserving forex and diversifying the economy.

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He said: “To put it in proper perspective, by the time you dimension the size of the foreign exchange we use in importing petroleum products into the country, it is at least one third of the foreign exchange the CBN spends to import items into Nigeria today.

“By the time we add also the 42 items that we have, which certainly we are going to increase from 42 may be to 50 or more in due course because we are going to get more aggressive in ensuring that more and more food items that are being imported into this country are added into the FX restriction list.

“I am saying that by the time we add the savings from the production and export of petroleum products; by the time we also add the foreign exchange that we spend on food items, close to 55 or 60% of what the CBN or what the government spends in funding its foreign exchange operations will be saved in the country.”

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