President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to allocate foreign exchange (Forex) for the importation of food items or fertilizer in line with the monetary and fiscal authorities’ efforts to conserve the nation’s fast-depleting foreign reserves.
Buhari gave the order, the second time since August 2019, at a meeting of the National Food Security Council at the State House in Abuja.
A news report sourced from The Cable News quoted the President in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Garba Shehu, as advising private enterprises engaging in food importation to source their foreign exchange independently.
He charged such entrepreneurs to use their “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.
“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”, Buhari assured.
Similarly, he also directed fertilizer producers to deliver their products directly to state governments with a view to avoiding transporters, who have been undermining the efforts of government to deliver fertilizers to farmers at reasonable costs.