Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government has said the country will stop importation of milk in 2022.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Sabo Nanono disclosed this in Abuja that the government’s idea to put a stop to milk importation by 2022 is geared towards self-sufficiency in dairy production.
“We are planning in this ministry and watch my words, in the next two years we will ban the importation of milk into this country. And ask me why: we have 25 million cows in this country to produce five million litres per day.
“The issue is now logistics, which we have started by setting up milk processing plants across the country. I see no reason why we should import milk in the next two years. We should stop the importation of milk,” he said.
Nanono explained the country, which spends between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion yearly importing dairy products, announced a forex ban for the items in 2019 through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Minister added that in February this year, the federal government handed the liberty to import the products to six firms, which include; Nestle, FrieslandCampina, Promasidor and Chi Limited because they showed considerable commitment to local milk production through backward integration.
Nanono, however, pointed out that government also proscribed importation of fish, due to its implication of about $1.2 billion to Nigeria annually.
“In the next two, three months, most of the prices will level off to a more comfortable level,” Nanono said.
He further disclosed that the price of milled rice is expected to fall to between N14,000 and N15,000, stressing that
Nigeria’s food inflation rose to 16 per cent in August, 2020 from 15.48 per cent.
Nanono also posited that headline inflation jumped to a 28-month high of 13.22 per cent and has been in double digits for about 3 years now even though the CBN hoped of keeping it between 6-9 per cent.
The Minister also noted that inflation data for September is due from the statistics office, maintaining that Nigeria recorded an improvement in the production of key staple crops in 2019.
Ntanono further said that maize and rice production jumped from 12.8 million metric tonnes (mmt) and 12.3 mmt to 13.94 mmt and 14.28 mmt.
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