President Buhari warned the CBN not to fund requests to import food and fertilizers into the country.
Buhari gave the directive to the National Food Security Council at the State House, Abuja, saying that he would now pass it down in writing that ‘nobody importing food should be given money’.
The fresh directives come as the Federal Government rolls out the Economic Sustainability Plan and sets goals for National Food Security in the country.
Garba Shehu, media side to the President, said, “President Buhari has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria not to issue a kobo” of the country’s reserves for the importation of food items and fertilizer”.
In emphasizing the need to boost local agriculture, the President 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”.
He 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”.
Among others, government has indicated intentions to facilitate the cultivation of 20,000 to 100,000 hectares of new farmland in every state and support off-take of agro-processing to create millions of direct and indirect job opportunities.
Business Day, September 11, 2020
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