President Muhmmadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), not to provide Forex for importers of food items and fertilizer.
CBN Governor Godwin Emiefile, speaking at National Food Security Council (NFSC) meeting held in the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, confirmed the Presidential order to withhold funding from for food and fertilizer importation.
According to a statement made by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, said;
“We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work and agriculture is the answer. We have a lot to do to support our farmers”
“From only three operating in the country, we have 33 fertilizer blending plants now working. We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import fertilizer. We will empower local producers.”
The President also directed that blenders of fertiliser should convey products directly to state governments so as to skip the cartel of transporters undermining the efforts to successfully deliver the products to users at reasonable costs.
He also advised private businesses bent on food importation to source their foreign exchange independently, saying “use your money to compete with our farmers instead of using foreign reserves to bring in compromised food items to divest the efforts of our farmers.
The meeting, was chaired by the President with other key members of the Council in attendance, was briefed on the food security situation prevailing in the country.
Notably, the Vice Chairman of the council and Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and a Governor from each of the six geo-political zones – Jigawa, Plateau, Taraba, Ebonyi, Lagos and Kebbi, made presentations.