It is not going to be easy for banks, companies and individuals behind activities aimed at undermining the extant policy on the 41 items banned from accessing foreign exchange at the official window of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as it is now declared economic sabotage.
For the apex bank, beside the immediate prosecution, which is being finalised in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), culprits would not be banked by any other financial institution in the country for unspecified period of time.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed the stance, while delivering his address at the 2018 Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said policy sustenance is necessary now, given the successes that have been recorded so far.
The development, which is a tacit declaration that the end to the controversial ban on the 41 items, which took effect since 2015, is not in sight.
He said: “The remarkable success that has been achieved in stimulating domestic production of goods such as rice, cassava and maize, as a result of the restrictions placed by the CBN on access to forex for 41 items, the CBN intends to vigorously ensure that this policy remains in place.