Business News

Import restrictions in Nigeria, other African markets complicating business operations- IMF


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that the challenge of import restrictions in Nigeria and other African countries complicates business operations.

The Fund stated this in its Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa entitled, “A Tepid and Pricey Recovery,” where it explained that the twin challenges of import restrictions and foreign currency shortages could mar the post-pandemic recovery in terms of profitability of companies across the region.

Furthermore, the IMF noted that the post-pandemic recovery for the region comes during a time of global uncertainty and shocks, as rising interest rates push Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries’ expenditure from critical capital investments towards debt servicing.

According to the IMF, such divestment results in low educational outcomes and rising food insecurity in the regions. It referenced a report that states that only 65% of school children complete their primary and secondary education in the SSA compared to the global average of 87%.

It also noted that food insecurity has become rife in the region, with Nigeria and D.R Congo a flash point.

Nigeria implements certain trade policies to favour local production, self-sustenance, and job creation. In 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced a restriction on importers of 43 items to be barred from accessing foreign exchange on the official market. Chief among these items was rice which the President Buhari administration had promised to ensure self-sufficiency. However, this has been reversed by the new CBN Governor, Dr Yemi Cardoso.