In a move widely seen as illuminating Nigeria’s growing foreign exchange scarcity and undermining the independence of the Central Bank, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that importers of food and fertiliser will no longger be able to buy foreign currencies through official channels.
Mr Buhari issued the edict through a post on the social messaging app Twitter. He said that he revealed that issued an instruction to to the Central Bank to bar the sale of foreign currency to companies and individuals that import food and fertiliser into the country.
“I am restating it that nobody importing food or fertilizer should be given foreign exchange from the Central Bank. We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import food or fertilizer. We will instead empower local farmers and producers.”
“We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work, and agriculture is the answer,” Buhari wrote.
The president’s comments were made after he supervised a National Food Security Council meeting at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Aso Villa sources informed the Lagos Times on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media, said that the president meeting reiterated that food security remains a major agenda for his administration and promised to enact policies that will make inputs accessible, available, and affordable to local farmers.
“Food security remains at the forefront of our administration’s agenda. I chaired a Meeting of the National Food Security Council today, where we noted the devastating impact of recent floods on the progress we’ve made so far. Our condolences go to the victims and their families.”
“We are integrating rural communities to the formal economy by extending access to credit and inputs to rural farmers, and building feeder roads. We have also invested in building our strategic grain reserves in recent years.”
“We are grateful to all our farmers for their hard work. We will continue to do everything to support them, including those impacted by the recent flooding disaster. Already, we are working to ensure the losses from this wet season are replaced in the coming dry planting season.”