Central Bank of Nigeria through its Governor has placed a ban on milk and dairy products importation into Nigeria, these came from the address of the Governor at the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Gov. Emefiele disclosed between 1.2-1.5 billion dollars are exhausted annually importing milk into Nigeria which we can produce ourselves, He continued further stating that We can no longer waste this huge money which will go a long way in reducing herdsman conflict and help the growth of our economy. The apex bank affirms its decision to start the rejuvenation of moribund textile mills in the country. Mrs. Bademosi Tinuola The Director in charge of the Development Finance Department in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made the promise at the official commissioning of a garment company, “Xirea Apparel” by Buphalo company in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, yesterday.
We the present administration of Central Bank are in support of local manufacturers to grow the economy, we would try to revamp all sorts of importations that Nigeria has been tagged for as a dumping ground, causing indiscipline and lack of growth of our industries. “Cotton is been grown in the north, by October it will be harvested to encourage textile industries. CBN imported the seeds and planted them so that we can revamp dead textile industries.
“With these efforts by CBN, we hope to revamp the textile factory which will help to create job opportunities and on the other hand reducing criminal activities. At the end of the meeting,
MPC members voted to: Retain the MPR at 13.50 percent; Retain the asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points around the MPR; Retain the CRR at 22.5 percent, and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent.
Speaking, Emefiele said CBN has held several meetings with milk importers, the first being about three years ago, after the introduction of forex restrictions on over 40 items. He said “About three and half years ago, when the policy on restriction of forex started, we considered including milk on the list of items under restriction from forex, but we conjectured that based on sentiment some people are bound to express, that we should be very careful.
”We called on the management of the oldest milk importer into Nigeria, WAMCO into Central Bank office in Lagos. ‘We held at least three meetings with them and we told them this would have happened but we decided not to allow it to happen, that we are trying to use the opportunity to appeal to them to do backward integration. ‘Integrate backward and begin the process of development and produce your milk in Nigeria”.
”Importers could also support the pastoralists, get them concentrated in one place instead of moving around. Provide facilities like water, hospitals, schools.”If you are in a community and you want to enjoy the proceeds of that community there is nothing wrong in providing certain things for the communities to blossom.
”The proceeds of what you get in return will be your milk to recoup your investments.”Those are the kind of things we expect companies that are importing milk into Nigeria to do. Unfortunately, after three years, nothing has happened. If the journey was started three years ago, perhaps the herders, farmer’s conflict that we see today would not have been as intense as it is this time.
” We would need your help at this time because we can no longer wait for you to continue to be importing this product into Nigeria because we are convinced it can be produced in Nigeria. ”The farmers can acquire land and begin to graze their own cows and fatten them and get the milk, and then they can also be complemented by pastoralists who own their own smallholder cows under a small farming holder arrangement, they can also get milk from them”.
However, the milk importers ignored Emefiele’s advice which has now led to the forex restrictions on milk importation. According to Emefiele, “Nigeria belongs to us, when we have a policy, we want people to respect the policy of this country.
”The amount we spend importing milk is too high. We are saying, by doing backward integration, help us to reduce or limit herders and farmers’ conflict in Nigeria and we are determined to make milk production in Nigeria a viable economic proposition.
“By the time we restrict you if you need a loan to acquire land we will give you, if you need a loan to grow your grass, we will give you; to produce water, we will give you a loan. ”But that you will continue to import milk into the country, I think we are getting to the end of the road. ”I will repeat, we are really getting to end of the road. The era of releasing forex for importation is coming to an end, and it will come soon than expected.”