President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the CBN to stop issuing forex for food and fertilizer imports.
The president gave the directive on Thursday after the meeting of the National Food Security Council as part of efforts to boost agriculture in the country.
The president restated his administration’s commitment to ensuring Nigeria is self-sufficient in food production.
”From only three operating in the country, we have 33 fertilizer blending plants now working,” he explained, stressing that “We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import fertilizer. We will empower local producers,” he said.
Buhari equally ordered blenders of fertilizer to take their products straight to State Governments to beat the cartel of transporters undermining efforts to deliver the products to users at reasonable costs
He called on businesses bent on the importation of food to source their foreign exchange independently.
Buhari reaffirmed his belief that agriculture is one of the ways to tackle food insecurity and unemployment in Nigeria.
”We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work and agriculture is the answer,” he added. “We have a lot to do to support our farmers.”
On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Dr Zainab Ahmed also listed efforts aimed at tackling the challenges from COVID-19 on the nation.
She disclosed that the government will facilitate the cultivation of 20,000 to 100,000 hectares of new farmland in every state and back the take-off of agro-processing to create millions of job opportunities.