Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has stated that the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to retain the current demand management model in the foreign exchange market was a reflection of an ominous indifference to the plight of various stakeholders in the economy, including manufacturers.
The chamber said the opaqueness of the foreign exchange management supported the vulnerability to corrupt practices and distortions in the economy.
LCCI President, Remi Bello, said the chamber shared the concern of the CBN that there were no easy choices given the dwindling crude oil price, dwindling accretion to reserves, the weak fiscal position of government and the pressure on foreign reserves, but said that the LCCI was gravely disturbed by the disposition to ignore the submissions by stakeholders to the CBN to review its list of items not valid for foreign exchange by the MPC.
“The LCCI is gravely disturbed by the disposition of stakeholders as they had raised issues of classification of items for proper identification of the products and to make implementation less disruptive of the economy. There are many items on the list which are critical inputs of many production firms. Sustainability of many manufacturing activities is currently at risk, especially with the apparent unwillingness of the CBN to shift ground.
“In the spirit of transparency and in line with the values of the present administration, we call for the publication of the list of beneficiaries of the foreign exchange allocations in the past one month. This will allow for a more robust discussion and engagement on the way forward.
“The LCCI is worried about the apparent trivialisation by the CBN of developments in the parallel market segment of the foreign exchange market. It is curious that the unprecedented disparity in the rates does not seem to bother the CBN.”

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