President Muhammadu Buhari has barred the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from providing foreign exchange for the importation of food items into the country.
He said Nigerians ought to eat what they produce.
President Buhari gave the directive at the fifth regular meeting with the presidential economic advisory council that held at the statehouse in Abuja today December 29.
A statement released by Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, quoted President Buhari as saying Nigerians must eat what is produced in the country. He said;
“The CBN must not give money to import food. Already, about seven states are producing all the rice we need. We must eat what we produce. Going back to the land is the way out. We depend on petrol at the expense of agriculture. Now the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million. At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production
We will continue to encourage our people to go back to the land. Our elite is indoctrinated in the idea that we are rich in oil, leaving the land for the city for oil riches.
We are back to the land now. We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble.”
This is the third time that the President would issue CBN the directive not to give food importers foreign exchange. The first time was in August 2019 and again in September 2020.