President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country.
The order comes despite the fact that criticisms are still trailing the apex bank’s recent decision to discontinue the issuance of forex for importation of milk and diary products.
The president made the disclosure on Tuesday in Daura, Katsina State, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ he said.
According to him, there is steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security in the country.
He stated that states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming, urging more states to plug into the ongoing revolution to feed the nation.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly,’’he said.
The president, who hosted All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to Eid-el-Kabir lunch at his country home in Daura, said the foreign reserve will be conserved and utilized strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.
He said he was particularly delighted that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring agric-business and entrepreneurship, saying that many of them are posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.
President Buhari said the incoming ministers will be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they meet the targets of the APC-led government for the people, with regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
He assured that he will attend the Presidential Policy Retreat organized for the ministers by the OSFG, and insisted on compliance with laid down targets on key sectors of the economy that will directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, said Buhari’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had turned a major inspiration to governors on the way forward for the country.
According to him, the challenges faced by states “were enormous’’, but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort’’ to overcome all the obstacles.
The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, appreciated the president for his “unique leadership style maintaining a healthy relationship with governors on individual and collective basis”.
“The country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people,’’ Bagudu said.