President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country.
A statement by Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, explained that the order was sustain a steady expansion in agricultural production and achievement of full food security for the nation.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ the statement quote the President to have said.
According to the statement, President Buhari gave the order when he hosted governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to eid-el-kabir lunch at his country home in Daura, where he is spending the two-day holiday. Burhari said that the foreign reserve saved from this measure would be used for the diversification of the economy, instead of encouraging continued dependence on foreign food imports.
The President declared that Nigeria has achieved “food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly.”
The CBN, through its Anchor Borrowers programme, has made given credit to farmers of certain crops at lower than the market rates, as part of the government’s policy to encourage the agricultural sector.
Buihari noted that some states like Ebonyi , Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, and Ogun were already taking advantage of the federal government’s policy on agriculture, and were making huge returns in rice farming. He encouraged urging more states to take advantage of the programme.