Three companies have been granted the opportunity to import sugar into the country.
They are BUA Sugar Refinery Ltd, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, and Golden Sugar Company.
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday announced the restriction via a circular dated July 16 with reference number TED/FEM/PUB/FPC/01/006
The circular, which was signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, Dr O.S Nnaji stated that only three companies can import sugar into the country.
The CBN had in April revealed plans to include sugar and wheat on the list of import items banned from accessing foreign exchange (FX).
In 2015, the apex bank had restricted 41 items from accessing foreign exchange, adding that the measure was to encourage local production of the items and conserve Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
Some of the banned items are rice, cement, margarine, palm produce, beef, vegetables, poultry and eggs, wooden doors and iron rods — including maize which was banned in 2020.
“We are looking at sugar and wheat. We started a programme on milk about two years ago. Eventually, these products will go into our FX restriction list,” Emefiele had said.” the Bank said.
Nigeria currently spend between $600m to $1bn importing sugar into the country annually.
The Federal Government under the National Sugar Development Council established the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan to encourage and incentivize sugar refining companies in their Backward Integration Programme for local sugar production.
The circular issued by the CBN on Friday said that only three companies have made significant progress in the Backward Integration Programme for local sugar production.
Following the restriction, the apex bank warned dealers in the foreign exchange market not to open Forms M or grant access to foreign exchange for any company without its prior and express approval.
Form M is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into Nigeria.
This is currently initiated electronically on Trade Portal provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with the Nigeria Customs Service.
The CBN said it would, in line with its mandate, continue to monitor the implementation of the Backward Integration Programme of all the companies in Nigeria