August 12, 2020

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 28)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced a ban on the importation of maize/corn1. This ban adds maize to the list of 41 other products some of which include rice, cement, margarine, and palm kernel that had earlier been banned2. The embargo comes as a means to further encourage local production, stimulate economic growth as well as secure local jobs and livelihoods. Available data shows that Nigeria imported 400,000 tons of maize in 2019 the same as it did in 20183. However, forex restrictions on the importation of rice, coupled with the closure of the Nigerian land borders to neighboring countries, has seen the country move from a major importer to the largest producer of rice in Africa.4 By extension, it is expected that the addition of maize to the forex restriction list will help to stimulate its domestic production and thus reduce or eliminate dependence on imported maize. Consequently, this effort is also expected to limit domestic demand for forex and curb the exchange rate volatility.

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