The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday 13 July 2020 directed the immediate suspension of importation of maize into the country, a major ingredient of livestock feeds. This move is coming at a time that livestock, especially poultry farmers, are yet to adjust to recent hike in the prices of livestock feeds.
The CBN in a circular signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr O.S. Nnaji, directed that all authorized importers should discontinue the processing of Form M for the importation of maize with immediate effect. The apex bank claimed her latest move is “part of efforts of the bank to increase local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihood and increase jobs, which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic”
The suspension of Form M means that the Central Bank would not make forex available for the importation. However, the bank asked the dealers to still submit the form M already registered prior to this latest directive.
“Accordingly, all authorized dealers are hereby requested to submit the list of Form M already registered for the importation of maize/corn using the attached format on or before the close of business on Wednesday 15, 2020,” CBN said.
Despite been the highest producer of maize in Africa, according to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria is also the leading importer of maize which is largely needed for her animal feed industry.
The CBN on June 23 this year promised its readiness to support maize farmers across the country to boost maize production during the 2020 wet season and beyond. For this year, the bank said it would support maize farmers with 166,000 farming inputs that will lead to the production of a minimum of 4 tons of maize in a hectare of land.
Meanwhile maize farmers in the country believes they have the capability to meet and surpass the estimated 15 million tonnes of maize required by the country, if given the right support. The country’s local production is currently estimated at around 10.5 million tons.
The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) have subsequently called for discussion with the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) on modalities to offtake the locally produced maize. The meeting is scheduled to hold in Abuja on Thursday 16 July 2020. LIVESTONEWS.