The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all authorised dealers to discontinue the process that enables the importation of maize/corn into the country.

In a circular published on Monday, July 13, 2020, the apex bank instructed dealers to discontinue the processing of Form M, a document issued to importers.

The circular, signed by the bank's director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr O.S. Nnaji, noted that the move is informed by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the ban will boost local production, stimulate a rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods, and increase jobs lost to the disease that disrupted economic activities, and killed over 570,000 people across the world.

"Accordingly, all Authorised Dealers are hereby requested to submit the list of Forms M already registered for the importation of Maize/Corn using the attached format on or before the close of business on Wednesday July 15, 2020. Please ensure strict compliance," the circular read.

The ban means importers of maize/corn can no longer access Nigeria's official Foreign Exchange Market.