The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that restriction of access to foreign exchange (forex) on the 41 items has had a positive impact on the economy.
CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor stated this on at the CBN Fair, a sensitisation programme, held at the Cultural Centre in Calabar, Cross-River State at the weekend.
He said the implementation of the policy has created employment and helped to conserve the hitherto depleting nation?s foreign reserve, and that has led to positive impact on the economy.
Okorafor, who was represented by Chukwudum Nzelu said the restriction of access to foreign exchange placed on the 41 items made Nigerians to start looking inward for the production of goods and products that the country has comparative advantage to be produced locally.
The CBN spokesman said the successful implementation of the 41 items policy gave birth to the other initiatives such as the Anchor Borrowers? Programme (ABP) which has led to a revolution in the production of rice across the country.
Continuing, he said the production of rice under the ABP was not only to ensure food security, but to create jobs along the value chain of rice production. He added that with improved seedlings and farming techniques under the Anchor Borrowers? Programme, rice production which stood at 3.5 tonnes per hectares has jumped to seven tonnes per hectare.
Okorafor urged the participants to also key-in into the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) which was targeted at youths between the ages of 18 to 35 years. The AADS when fully operational, is expected to employ at least 10 thousand jobs per state, across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT. The essence of this initiative, according to him, was to reduce drastically youth unemployment.
Branch Controller, CBN Calabar Branch, Graham Kalio said the CBN fair was an interactive forum aimed at bridging the information gap that might exist concerning the policies, programmes and activities of the apex bank.
The fair was attended by farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), persons from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and others who were genuinely interested in taking advantage of the CBN policies and programmes.