New Telegraph

December 3, 2023

Report: CBN rule leaves cocoa stranded at ports

Nigerian cocoa exporters are facing long delays in shipping their goods after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insisted on additional documentation to ensure proceeds are returned to the country, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

The news agency reported Pius Ayodele, President the Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria, as saying that at least 100,000 tons of cocoa beans are trapped at the ports and it is taking an average of 40 days to get necessary approvals from the central bank that meets shipping requirements. Victor Iyamah, an exporter and a former President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria, was also reported as saying that the apex bank had suspended shipments for over two weeks to verify compliance with rules for returns of proceeds.

He was quoted as say-ing “we have five containers at the ports, some of which have left the factory for well over two months now.” However, the news agency also quoted Bamidele Ayemibo, the lead consultant at 3T Impex Trade Academy, as saying that “the central bank is just enforcing what has always been in the books, which is don’t export without declaration. People are exporting without declaration. Now central bank has blocked the loophole.”

The additional documentation requirements, which the CBN is reportedly asking shipping lines to enforce, is to track all exports and ensure proceeds are brought through official channels.

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