• Nigeria's central bank restricts official forex on milk importation.
  • The apex bank says it exempted six dairy companies for keying into the country's backward integration programme.
  • Isaac Okorafor, CBN's spokesperson, says the objective was to increase milk production from the current figure of 500,000 metric tonnes to about 550,000 metric tonnes within the next 12 months.

Nigeria's central bank (CBN) has restricted official access to forex for milk importation but exempted six companies from the restriction.

The CBN stated that it has engaged the six dairy companies because they had keyed into its backward integration programme in order to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.

In a circular issued on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, CBN's Director, Trade and Exchange Department, listed the companies as FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria; Chi Limited; TG Arla Dairy Products Limited; Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Nestle Nigeria PLC (MSK only), and Integrated Dairies Limited.

Dairy Industry in Nigeria
Dairy Industry in Nigeria
agro news nigeria

According to the circular, the new policy takes immediate effect, as all Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorized dealers will only be allowed for the aforementioned companies.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor
The Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor

Isaac Okorafor, CBN's spokesperson, explained that the objective of the apex bank in that sector was to increase milk production in the country from the current figure of 500,000 metric tonnes to about 550,000 metric tonnes within the next 12 months.

44 items now on the list of restricted commodities from accessing forex at the official rate

Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added textile and other clothing materials to the list of 42 items ineligible from sourcing FX from the official market.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele
President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

With the new restriction on milk importation, 44 items are now on the list of commodities whose importation will be restricted from accessing forex at the official rate.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had also advised the apex bank to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country. The president harped the decision on the “steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security.”