President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to release “a kobo” from the country’s reserves for the importation of food items and fertilisers. He said at the National Food Security Council meeting at the State House, Abuja, that he would soon communicate the directive, which he had previously issued orally to the CBN, in writing to the apex bank that ”nobody importing food should be given money.”
He also said the federal government averted food crisis despite the outbreak of COVID-19, which disrupted the global economy, including the agriculture value chain, through its proactive policy.
A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, quoted the president as saying that instead of releasing fund from the foreign reserves for fertiliser importation, the government would rather empower local producers of the product. ”From only three operating in the country, we have 33 fertiliser blending plants now working. We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import fertiliser. We will empower local producers,” he said.
Buhari directed blenders of fertiliser to convey the item directly to state governments in order to beat the cartel of transporters frustrating efforts to successfully deliver the products to end-users at reasonable costs.