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    Friday, September 11, 2020

    President Buhari Directs CBN to Halt Forex for Fertiliser, Food Items

    President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to provide forex for the importation of food items or fertilizer.

    The president was speaking on Thursday at a meeting of the National Food Security Council at the State House in Abuja.

    This is the second time the president will make such a statement, the first being in August 2019.

    Buhari 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”.

    “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.”

    The president also directed that blenders of fertilizer should deliver products directly to state governments so as to skip the cartel of transporters undermining the efforts to successfully deliver the products to users at reasonable costs.

    Policies by the CBN and Muhammadu Buhari-led administration have been targeted at reducing importation and ramping up local production capacity.

    At present, the CBN has a list of items that are ineligible for forex.

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