- CBN Will no Longer Provide Forex for Importers of Cassava Products
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday said it will no longer provide foreign exchange for the importation of cassava and its derivatives.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN, disclosed this during a meeting with state governors at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.
According to the CBN, Nigeria spends over $600 million on cassava derivatives each year.
He said, “The country imports cassava derivatives of over $600m per year and we have also begun to restrict foreign exchange to those who want to import cassava, starch, ethanol and all other derivatives into Nigeria.”
“The cassava initiative of the bank is to improve productivity, stabilise prices and encourage local processing to generate employment.
“To improve the cassava seed productivity, the bank is collaborating with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture on the production and supply of cassava cultivars that can increase yield up to 40 tonnes.
“Arrangements are underway to support 51,388 farmers to produce 830,820 metric tonnes of cassava tubers for some identified processors.”
This move, he explained would create more economic opportunities, foster real growth and enhance revenue generation.
In the meeting were governors from Borno, Lagos, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Anambra, Adamawa, Benue, Sokoto, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi, Zamfara, Edo, Benue, Ogun, Kebbi, Kaduna, Edo and Bauchi.
The CBN said the meeting was necessary to get the cooperation of the governors in the area of economic diversification and new job creation.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the apex bank to boost production of 10 key commodities.
He listed them as rice, cotton, oil palm, tomato, cassava, poultry, fish, maize, cocoa and livestock/dairy.
While the apex bank said it has made substantial progress in the last few months, it also recognise the significance of governors to its actualisation.
In an effort to stimulate local production and enhance job creation, the central bank continues to restrict more importers of goods that could be produced locally from accessing forex exchange at the official rate.
Again, while the move will help stimulate local production and increase job creation, it will also help ease pressure on the weak foreign reserves that plunged from about $45 billion in June to $42.8 billion in September.
This will help the central bank sustain its forex intervention program, support the Naira and ensure dollar liquidity.