As the prices of food items surge in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop the provision of forex for the importation of food items or fertilizer.
The president gave this directive while speaking at a meeting of the National Food Security Council at the State House in Abuja on Thursday according to Vanguard.
The president urged 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”.
“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,” a statement by Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, quoted Buhari to have said. “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.”
Nigeria has continued to struggle with the shortage of foreign currency following the fall in oil prices which provides majority of the nations foreign earnings.
In July CBN added Maize/Corn to the list of items excluded from official FX market, although the apex bank later granted approval of importation to four companies.