Experts commend CBN’s policy on forex restriction for milk importation

Milk products to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Food Safety Helpline]
Milk products to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Food Safety Helpline]

Economic experts have lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on its plan to put forex restriction on imported dairy products to the country.

Some economic experts who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday said the move would boost the economy of the country.

NAN reports that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the plan to put forex restriction on dairy products during the last Monetary Policy (MPC) meeting held on July 23 in Abuja.

Mr Emefiele said the planned policy to put a restriction on the sale of forex for the importation of milk from the Nigerian foreign exchange market was aimed at promoting local production of milk in the country.

Reacting, a financial expert, and Managing Director of Cyber1 Systems Network International, Momoh Aliyu, said the policy was good and would boost the economy.

Mr Aliyu explained that backward integration had always been the Federal Government’s dream on foods and beverages.

He said currently, Nigeria Brewery was heavily investing in backward integration by empowering farmers to produce grains locally.

“With the Nigeria population and its rate of consumption of dairy products, it is long overdue to enhance and encourage local productions of dairy products for economic and health reasons.

“Base on statistic released by CBN Nigeria currently spends between 1.2billion dollars and 1.5 billion dollars annually for diary importation. This value alone is enough to enhance dairy production’s infrastructures, research and local subsidy.

“From what I know, animal scientists in Nigeria have been carrying out some researches, this is the time to use their findings to assist this planned policy for local production of milk,” he said.

Mr Aliyu added there was never a right time in economic and nation-building hence the right time was always now.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had always been in the forefront of local production, hence the need for all Nigerians to support him and promote domestic products.

Another economic expert, Tope Fasua, also commended CBN for the proposed policy, adding that the policy would help reposition the sub-sector.

“We cannot be laissez faire in everything. We do have a problem with cattle rearing and I believe this may help in addressing the problem.

“It shouldn’t be too much of a big deal to produce milk in Nigeria. The CBN may also not have to put everything in place before the ban is effected.

“Food, shelter, clothing and internal security are irreducible minimums we must produce for ourselves and if we do, we can double our economy,” he said.

He urged private sector players in the country to get involved and bridge the gaps by supporting the policy. (NAN)

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