LCCI, NECA seek dialogue, review of CBN’s new rules on imports

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), both key members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), have called for a review of the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks and other authorised dealers to stop opening Forms ‘M’ for payments routed through a buying company, agent or other third parties.

This was disclosed yesterday by the Director General, LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, he noted that even in the domestic economy, distributors and dealers form the bridge that connects the major manufacturers to the retailers and consumers.

He stated: “Middlemen play a critical role in the supply and distribution chain in any economy, domestically and globally. They bring a great deal of value to the process. It is impractical to expect all importers of raw materials, equipment, and other inputs to buy directly from the ultimate producer, manufacturer, or supplier, especially in an economy driven by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”

Form ‘M’ is a mandated statutory document for all importers to complete and register with authorised dealers (banks) for the purpose of purchasing of foreign exchange through the CBN for importation of goods into Nigeria at the time of placing orders.

Yusuf said that while LCCI appreciates the efforts of CBN in curbing abuses in the foreign exchange market, the new measure would create more problems than it would solve.

Already most foreign exchange transactions have been frozen on account of this circular. What this means is that the supply chain of over 80% of the business community has once again been disrupted and dislocated. This is like substituting the global supply chain problem with a domestic supply chain disruption.

“This policy negates the current laudable efforts by the government (and even the CBN itself) to ensure business continuity, sustainability, and recovery. It is also in conflict with the letters and spirit of the Economic Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government,” he added.

On the other hand, NECA is seeking an audience with the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to find an amicable solution to the matter.


Source: Voice of Nigeria