In a statement, the President of the association, Patrick Anegbe, said, “We appeal to government to engage the organised private sector and stakeholders in the food industry to discuss the issues involved in this matter more thoroughly before a final position on how to proceed is taken.
“We would like to trust that the government will allow for this step in the spirit of our sustained partnership with it over the years in addressing the various economic issues affecting the Nigerian state.”
He noted that the CBN had towards the end of July announced the decision to deny access to foreign exchange for the importation of milk and other dairy products.
“The negative economic implications of the move in the short- run on the performance of the affected companies and the overall economy had been widely highlighted by experts, industrialists and managers of the targeted businesses,”he said.
One critical aspect, he mentioned, was the impact the sudden ban would have on the overall financial results of the companies affected which would also likely lead to loss of jobs among others.
“The organised private sector had tried to draw the attention of CBN to the danger in not allowing for a reasonable period of time for those concerned to make adequate preparations to source their imported milk and dairy products locally.
“The engagement on this CBN pronouncement was still on when news came that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had at an event in his home State during the Eid-el-Kabir holiday, announced that he had instructed the CBN not to allocate foreign exchange for importation of food.
“While there is a need for clarification on this directive regarding whether all food products or some food products are to be affected, it is important to state that this move may end up working against the very reason the plan is being conceived.”
Source: Punch Nigeria, August 22 2019 (https://punchng.com/food-import-afbte-advises-cbn-on-forex-ban/)
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