…injects $303.9m ahead of Yuletide
By Etuka Sunday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said that restriction of access to foreign exchange on the 41 items has had a positive impact on the economy.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the Bank, Mr. Isaac Okorafor stated this on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the CBN Fair, a sensitization programme, held at the Cultural Centre in Calabar, Cross-River State.Mr. Okorafor said the implementation of the policy has created employment and helped to conserve the hitherto depleting nation’s foreign reserve, therefore buoying up the economy.
Mr. Okorafor, who was represented by Mr. Chukwudum Nzelu said the restriction of access to foreign exchange placed on the 41 items made Nigerians to start looking inward for the production of goods and products that the country has comparative advantage to be produced locally.
The CBN Spokesman said the successful implementation of the 41 items policy gave birth to the other initiatives such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which has caused a revolution in the production of rice across the country.
Continuing, he said the production of rice under the ABP was not only to ensure food security, but to create jobs along the value chain of rice production. He added that with improved seedlings and farming techniques under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, rice production which stood at 3.5 tons per hectares has jumped to 7 tons per hectare.
Mr. Okorafor urged the participants to also key-in into the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) which was targeted at youths between the ages of 18 to 35 years.
The AADS when fully operational, is expected to employ at least 10 thousand jobs per state, across the 36 States of the Federations including the FCT. The essence of this initiative, according to him, was to reduce drastically youth unemployment.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Branch Controller, CBN Calabar Branch, Dr. Graham Kalio said that the CBN fair was an interactive forum aimed at bridging the information gap that might exist concerning the policies, programmes and activities of the apex Bank.
The Fair was attended by Farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), persons from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and others who were genuinely interested in taking advantage of the CBN polies and programmes.
Meanwhile, CBN on Friday, December 8, 2017, closed the market for the week with sale of the sum of $303.9 million in the foreign exchange market.
Breakdown of the total sales indicate that much priority was given to the real sector of the economy with the sale of 75 per cent of the day’s sales amounting to $229.89 million for raw materials and machinery.
Confirming the sales, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the apex Bank, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, hinted that various sums were also offered to other vital sectors like the agriculture and airline which got $24.68 million and $12.467 million respectively, while petroleum products got 36.89 million.
On the performance of the foreign exchange market in the out-going year, the Director noted with nostalgia that the Naira exchange rate has not only remain stable and considerable accretion to the foreign reserves but Bank had so far met all the legitimate demands from genuine customers.