CBN introduces Digital Invoice Rule to rein in the Forex Demand and boost local production   

7 March 2022: Nigeria’s central bank has introduced a digital invoicing system which became operational since Feb 1 2022, for importers and exporters to curb over-pricing, the deputy governor said. 

This rule seeks to “save more foreign exchange earnings that will be channeled to the most productive sectors of the economy,” said Kingsley Obiora in a communique published Friday on January’s monetary policy committee meeting. “This will boost local production capacity, promote inclusive growth and sustain a strong naira exchange rate,” he said.

Importers and exporters will have to produce an electronic invoice which will be authenticated by their banks, the central bank will then verify all the submitted prices based on a global benchmark. 

“The aim is to eliminate over-invoicing, mispricing of exports and imports, as well as activities of money laundering,” Obiora said.

CBN has come up with various measure to put a restrain on the dollar demand since 2020, owing to the crash in oil income that accounts for about 90% of foreign exchange earnings. Nevertheless they have had to devalue the local currency three time in that period, which is worsened by the challenge of having a backlog of about $1.7 billion in unmet dollar demand from investors, according to the International Monetary Fund. 

The local currency exchanged 415.61 naira to a dollar at the official spot market as of 2.56 p.m. in Lagos and traded 37% weaker on the parallel market, following the shortage of Dollar.

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