Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Stakeholders seek clarifications on ban of FOREX for food importation


CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

Manufacturing and trading
stakeholders have called for better briefing by President Muhammadu Buhari to
clarify the specific classes of food that should be denied official Foreign
Exchange for the purpose of imports.

This came on the hills of the
president’s directive on Tuesday to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to
immediately stop the allocation of foreign exchange for food importation.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos on
Wednesday, the Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN),
Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, said the government should specify the classes of food
that are concerned in the ban since some food items are raw materials for
manufacturing other finished products in Nigeria.
Ajayi-Kadiri, while appreciating
the government for efforts aimed at protecting local manufacturing and the
local economy, however called for cautious approach in order not to hamper the
bedrock of the economy, which is manufacturing that requires raw materials to
remain in business.
In a similar vein, Mr. Muda
Yusuf, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
said it was important and needful for the president to be clear on the items to
be so affected, by listing them.
He frowned on a situation where the president interferes with the statutory responsibility
of the CBN, and in this case,  a monetary issue which should be left to the
apex bank to handle.

He cautioned the federal
government against making very hasty policy pronouncements that could scare away investors.

The President had during the
week directed the CBN to immediately stop the official allocation of  foreign exchange
to importers of food items into the country.
Buhari said this was because Nigeria
has attained food security and does not need such imports.
In a statement by the
presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President explained that
foreign reserves would be saved and utilised mainly for diversification of the
Buhari spoke when he received
some governors who celebrated the Eid-el-Kabir with him in his home town,
Daura, Katsina state.
Buhari was quoted saying,
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country’.’
The President identified Kebbi,
Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano as having huge returns in rice farming,
adding that they took advantage of the federal government policy on
He called on other states to
embrace the policy of agriculture revolution in the country.
He said, “We have achieved food
security, and for physical security we are not doing badly.”
He expressed delight that some
young graduates were beginning to go into agricbusiness and food
He disclosed that incoming
ministers will be directed to meet the target of the administration for the

It would be recalled that the
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had in December 2018 disclosed that the
country’s monthly food import bill fell from $665.4 m in January 2015 to
$160.4m as of October 2018.

He said this led to savings of
about $21 billion on food imports for the period.
According to him, foods imports
were recorded rice, fish, milk, sugar and wheat.
He had also said there has been
97.3 per cent cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6 per cent
in fish, 81.3 per cent in milk, 63.7 per cent in sugar, and 60.5 per cent in
With additional information from ShippingDay.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.