The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has strongly renounced the rumor currently trending that it had placed a ban on the importation of milk into the country. The body said it has no power to make such a pronouncement.
In a press release signed by Isaac Okoroafor, CBN Director of Corporate Communications and dated 26 July 2019, the body said it will only restrict sale of forex for the importation of milk from the Nigerian foreign exchange market. This policy, it said is primarily aimed at ensuring forex savings, job creation and investments in the local production of milk.
Reacting to the new policy of CBN, a former Director of Department of Animal Husbandry Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr John Taiwo said it is a welcomed development.
“This is the way we should have gone several years ago. This is what we have been encouraging FC-WAMCO and others to do through the DDP Collaboration Project in Fashola/Iseyin. ARLA is towing the line in collaboration with MILCOPAL in Kaduna. L&Z in Kano and some other private Farms are also taking giant strides in the local production of milk. It is not sustainable to continuously depend on imported powdered milk (are actually not real milk but vegetatively reconstituted milk at the expense of our dairy industry. The move is to make importation less lucrative than substitution with local production. Backward integration is the key. We can’t rely on the roaming cows for crying out loud. They are ntaot in production as far as dairy industry is concerned” said Mr Taiwo.
According to official records of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the country spent over 2.2 billion naira on importation of powdered milk in 2018. This is aside other forms of milk products also imported which runs into several billions of naira.
CBN thus reiterated its resolve to provide the needed finance to enable investors who genuinely want to engage in milk production.
The full text of the press release is reproduced below.