THE Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) has decried the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disallowing exporters from having unlimited access to their foreign domiciliary account to pursue export.
President of the group, Dr. Victor Iyama stated this during a press conference held at the Sesame Seeds headquarters office in Abuja.
Iyama who described the action as retrogressive queried the bank’s order to the exporters who buy produce at open market rate of 470 naira, and now asked to sell back to the banks at official rate of 385 naira, pointing out that nothing could be more unjust than seeing the same bank giving dollar at official rate to importers and bureau de change at the expense of exporters who are working hard to ensure that market frontier for agricultural produce is being expanded for more economic productivity.
He called on President MuhammaduBuhari to prevail on the CBN to stop this particular circular, capable of killing export in the country, adding that by importing, jobs were being created abroad, which was being further encouraged by importers being given free access to dollars at official rate.
His words: “we wish to draw your attention to the circular dated 20th February, 2015 issued by the CBN and the recent circular dated 24th September, 2020 which in no unclear terms states that its intent is to construe paragraph (5) (d) of the Memorandum 26 of the foreign exchange manual made pursuant to foreign exchange (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap F34, LFN, 2004 by clarifying the term ‘’ unfettered access’’ as used in the manual.
“The circular states in part as follows: ‘’ Following different interpretations of Memorandum 26, Paragraph (5), section (D) of the foreign exchange manual. It has become imperative to clarify the term ‘’ unfettered access’’ as contained in the provisions under reference. For the avoidance of doubt, all general public are to note that henceforth, the term ‘’ unfettered access’’ granted to holders of export proceed domiciliary account shall strictly be construed to mean that the proceeds of exporters in the account can only be (i) used by the exporters to finance eligible and other trade related transactions supported with appropriate documentation.’’
The FACAN president stressed that the inability of his member to unfettered access to their lawfully repatriated proceeds at will has negated the economic vision of President Buhari on diversification to non oil sector where exporters are paramount to market frontiers and expansion, adding that this matter had long been solved during era of former President Obasanjo administration in 2004.