Nigeria: Following criticisms by foreign media, which has called for a massive devaluation of the Nigerian Naira instead of foreign exchange restrictions on certain items by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Aliko Dangote, owner of Dangote Cement, has voiced his strong support of the CBN's decision, calling the ban on 41 items from the foreign exchange market as 'excellent and one of the best decisions taken so far by the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele.' Dangote described the CBN's intervention as appropriate for the Nigerian economy. "We cannot be importing poverty and exporting jobs," he said.
The CBN recently announced the restriction of importers of 41 items from the official foreign exchange market. Some of these items include cement, rice, wheel barrows, head pans, margarine, palm kernel/vegetable oil, meat and processed meat products, vegetable and processed vegetable products, poultry, private airplanes/jets, Indian incense, toothpicks and canned fish in sauce, among others.
Dangote believes that this should be seen as a call for all hands to help with the development of the nation's economy. He said that the measure would encourage Dangote Group, "To look inward and produce locally to create jobs for our growing young population." Dangote said without the ban by the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, he wouldn't have got the opportunity to grow his cement business as it is today, such that he is now exporting cement when only 10 years ago Nigeria was importing cement massively. His cement companies have a combined capacity of 20Mt/yr, providing hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs across Nigeria.