The Organised Private Sector (OPS), yesterday demanded that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must review its policy on the 41 items restricted from the official foreign exchange market.
They said that the policy that led to placing the items on the import prohibition list was hurting the manufacturing sector in such a way that could no longer be ignored by investors in the private sector.
The resolve to push for a review of the policy came at a stakeholders’ dialogue organised by NOIPolls and the Centre for the Study of the Economics of Africa (CSEA) in Abuja.
The forum attracted representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The stakeholders argued that the restriction has led to the closure of many companies and the relocation of others from Nigeria to Ghana and other neighbouring countries, as well as the refusal by foreign partners to repatriate over $10 billion held offshore by Nigerian businesses.
They also stated that about 272 manufacturing firms were either ailing or have closed shop over the last couple of months, while thousands of jobs were being cut on a daily basis.
The manufacturers also listed high interest rates, poor patronage of locally manufactured products, poor power supply and policy inconsistency as the major challenges confronting the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.