By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA—Following the amount Nigeria spends on milk importation, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has on Tuesday revealed that it will soon begin restriction of foreign exchange for the importation of milk.
The CBN governor Godwin Emefiele who made the revelation while fielding questions from the press after the MPC meeting, said that Nigeria spends about $1.5 billion annually on milk importation.
He emphasized that milk is one of the products that can be produced in Nigeria and so, urged the importers and manufacturers to either acquire lands and begin to graze their own cows or liaise with local pastoralists to do so.
According to him, “We believe that Milk is one of those products that can be produced in Nigeria today. Milk importation into Nigeria has lasted for over 60 years.
“We can no longer continue to spend close to $1.2 to $1.5 billon importing milk into the country, an item that we can produce”.
He further noted that cows in Nigeria are not producing much milk because they roam around and don’t have enough water to drink and also create destruction to farm products in that process.
Emefiele added that if the milk importers had worked with local pastoralists over the years, the herders and farmers conflict presently in Nigeria, would not have been as intense.
In his words, “Nigeria belongs to us and when we have a policy, we want people to respect the policy of this country.
“We are saying that the amount we spend importing milk is too high, we need to reduce it. We are saying that by doing backward integration, it helps to limit or reduce the rate of herders and farmers conflict in Nigerian, and we are determined to make milk production in Nigeria viable.
“We will give you loan but that you will continue to import milk into the country, I think we are getting to the end of the road.
“The era of restriction of foreign exchange for the importation of milk is really coming and will come sooner than we expect. We want people to produce milk in Nigeria”, the Governor concluded.