By Nkiruka Nnorom
LAGOS— Managing Director/CEO of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said, yesterday, that foreign exchange restriction on 41 items by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refined trade protectionism policies and thrown up huge investment opportunities across the banned items.
Adeduntan stated this at the Economy and You Breakfast session in Lagos, a joint initiative of Enterprise Development Centre, a School of Pan Atlantic University, Lagos and FirstBank Nigeria Limited.
He emphasized that high costs of factors of production, ostensibly exacerbated by naira devaluation at the parallel market, might help in the establishment and growth of local manufacturing industry.
Represented by Ifeanyi Uddin of Strategy & Corporate Development of the bank, Adeduntan called on Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, to take advantage of forex restrictions to veer into new areas of businesses.
He said: “Entrepreneurs must increasingly think of their businesses outside of the vertically integrated food chains that lead up to the big corporates; immense opportunities for cross-sector play exists in the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
“FX restrictions on some imported materials, and the proposed ban on selected goods that can be produced in Nigeria, offer unique opportunity for SMEs’ owners and other investors to grow their businesses.”
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