Nigeria: Government Lifts Foreign Exchange Import Restrictions but Challenges Continue

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   NI2023-0012
In 2023, food and agricultural imports have become increasingly expensive as the government has been largely unsuccessful at stemming the naira’s decline relative to the U.S. dollar. Importers who source foreign exchange on the parallel market have suffered from the increasing spread between the official and parallel exchange rates. In October, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lifted foreign exchange restrictions for the importation of 43 items, including several food and agricultural products. Despite this policy change, importers report continued challenges sourcing foreign exchange - as well as soft consumer demand because of the currency’s devaluation and high inflation. Importers expect challenging conditions to continue in the short-term, but also note that import demand could quickly return if the currency stabilizes, and consumer confidence recovers.

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