The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will put in place stricter measures to reduce the spate of food importation into the country and promote import substitution.
The Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, made the vow in a release that has since been uploaded on the apex bank’s official Twitter page (@cenbank).
According to him, the bank would do a thorough assessment of food items that can be locally produced and consumed in Nigeria.
Next on the list, Emefiele explained that forex issuance for the importation of such items would be stopped.
He noted that this measure was to curb import rate, as well as diversify the economy, as is already in the works, courtesy of the CBN’s economic diversification programmes.
“We would go through our record and once we confirm that these products can be produced in Nigeria, we will place them on the FX restriction list.
“What does that mean? It means you cannot source foreign exchange from a Nigerian foreign exchange market to import those items into Nigeria.
“We think that the initiatives that the Central Bank has put in place in the past to cut import and diversify the structure of the Nigerian economy is yielding result and we will continue to be that aggressive,” he averred.
On cassava production, the apex bank governor also restated the need to curb the import of the staple.
Mr. Emefiele stressed that continued cassava importation would have an adverse effect on the country’s economy.
He, however, expressed determination to curb imports by ensuring that the country continues to produce locally.
“We are determined to make sure that we grow the quantity of cassava that is produced in Nigeria so that the manufacturers who need those derivatives from cassava can easily source those materials to be able to produce their final products,” he said.