The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday sought the partnership of the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA) and the various state governments to end the importation of milk and other dairy products in the country.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the partnerships the apex bank was seeking were in the areas of land allocation and guarantee of credits to small and medium enterprise farmers’ cooperative societies.
Mr Emefiele, who spoke during his visit to the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, said the CBN will support projects and programmes by state governments to boost agricultural development.
During the visit, the CBN requested the FCT Minister to expedite action on the allocation of land to three major dairy companies in the country, namely FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and L & Z to establish local dairy processing plants in Abuja.
“It is CBN’s desire to make states self-sustaining and economically viable entities by supporting projects and programmes that will help create jobs and grow the economy,” Mr Emefiele said.
He said the allocation of land to the three dairy companies will drive industrialisation, stimulate local production of milk and the development of the local dairy sector.
The development of the local dairy processing industry, he said, will boost employment generation, facilitate linkages along with the dairy sector in Nigeria and conserve huge foreign exchange for the country.
The CBN governor identified two of its intervention programmes, namely Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), that have started yielding significant results.
With the bank’s deliberate policy to encourage companies to embrace the backward integration measures and boost job creation and industrialisation locally, he said the economy will experience multiplier impact
The partnership will also bring other benefits of integrating the local pastoralists as well as curb the farmers-herders clashes.
He cited Bobi Grazing Reserve in Niger State as one of such strategic partnerships entered by the bank, adding that over 31,000 hectares of land was allocated by the state government to dairy companies in the state,
Mr Emefiele said the bank was also engaging with the relevant agencies to revamp the Abuja Commodity Exchange to ensure standardisation of prices.
In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, Muhmmad Bello, commended the CBN governor for his passion in revamping the Nigerian economy.
He said the interventions of the bank under the Muhammadu Buhari administration had worked
The minister called for the establishment of a price stabilising mechanism to guarantee prices for farmers “to encourage them to always return to farm, with the assurance of their products being taken off them at harvest”.
Mr Bello pledged to facilitate the provision of land to the companies to enable them to establish their processing factories “within a short period of time”.
He said the FCDA had already envisaged the establishment of four grazing reserves in Bwari, Karshi, Gwagwalada and Rubochi in the FCT masterplan.