Agriculture

FOREX restriction: Stakeholders hail presidential direction, call for caution

Published

on

News

Agricultural stakeholders and agribusiness experts say the presidential directive for the restriction of foreign exchange for food importation “is made out of frustration’’ but call for caution by Federal Government.

They said agriculture used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before oil took over, but due to the abuse of the agricultural institutions, the president was forced to take the decision.

The stakeholders spoke with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Babatunde Kehinde, Agribusiness developer said though Nigeria was not yet food self-sufficient, the president had to take the decision because the system had been bastardised by greedy profiteers.

“In the 1960s and 70s, agriculture used to be the mainstay of the economy, but today 90 per cent of foreign reserve is generated by the oil sector.

“Despite CBN Act of 2007, fraudulent politicians and businessmen still find it easy to manipulate their way to exploiting the opportunities provided by FOREX.

He said that such amount of money could instead have been channelled into the purchase of manufacturing and agricultural equipments for the benefit of Nigerians.

He reiterated that the country was not food self-sufficient because the prices of food items were still expensive.

“Even the rice production sufficiency being talked about it is still expensive, why should a bag of rice still be selling at N17, 000 upon when it is produced in the country?

“With the ban on FOREX for importation, smugglers and corrupt custom officials are going to have a field day which will lead to increase in food prices,’’ he said.

According to Kehinde, the ban may eventually favour the masses on the long run if there is increase in food production.

He emphasised that those condemning the ban were those benefitting directly from the FOREX for importation.

“If you want to bring in agricultural equipment, it is supposed to be zero, but there’s no way you can bring in these processing equipment without passing through hell,’’ Kehinde said.

Mr Cosmas Chukwudi, another stakeholder said the president’s directive would confuse the market.

He said he had expected the president to have done it in phases like one to five years plan, after putting all machineries in place to help farmers.

“The country has not attained food security so the decision was uncalled for because prices of food items are still high,’’ Cosmas said.

Mrs Chinyere Nwafor, an agriculturist and food expert said the president’s decision was a wrong policy.

“We live in a global community; therefore, there is no country in the world which can claim to be food self-sufficient.

“Its an interdependent world. What cannot grow here due to our climate can grow in another country and we need these food items as our local staple like stockfish for instance.

“I hope Mr President’s directive is only temporary,’’ she said.

Mr Anthony Agbonlahor, a lawyer and agriculture stakeholder advised that all senatorial districts should have what is called Industrial Farm Settlements.

“With this, farmers can go to their farms to produce and the government can then buy from them in bulk while those waiting to add value to these produce can do that.

“That way, employment will be generated, wealth will be created and there will be food sufficiency,’’ Agbonlahor said.

Short Link: https://wp.me/pcj2iU-2AzZ

Sylvester Thompson

Sylvester Thompson: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. We are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and we strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @ nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

16,000 jobs’ll be created when National Theatre’s renovation is completed – Official Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro, ex-CDS dies at 80 Death Coronavirus – Eritrea: Ministry of Health announcement (May 12, 2021) New board will run the National Theatre after renovations – GM Ogun Govt. restates commitment to quality health care Eid-el-Fitr: Ganduje urges Muslims to pray for peace Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 case update (May 12, 2021) Eid-el-Fitr: Orji Kalu advocates national cohesion Expert wants greater investment in food security Incentives for the production of the digital economy in Cameroon (by Achare Takor) Ex minister, Turaki urges Muslims to uphold Ramadan values, peace, unity, benevolence Coronavirus – Daily update on the status of COVID-19 statistics in Zambia (May 12, 2021) Wet Season Farming: FG to distribute farm inputs to farmers Video press release: Weekly press briefing on the coronavirus epidemic Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 cases reported in Ethiopia (May 12, 2021) Marriott International opens 5-star hotel in Lagos Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 Statistics in South Africa (May 12, 2021) Kogi governor lauds appointment of Obaje as NG-CARES coordinator COVID-19: NCDC records 1 death, 44 new infections AbdulRazaq appoints 41-year-old multimedia czar as Kwara Tv GM Sallah: Gov. Matawalle assures workers of job security Company Income Tax increases by N97bn in Q1, 2021- NBS Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (May 12, 2021) De-escalation ‘an absolute must’ in Israel-Palestine conflict – UN Chief Coronavirus – Eswatini: COVID-19 daily update (May 12, 2021) NMA demands renewed effort to tackle insecurity Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (May 12, 2021) Eid-el-Fitr: PDP urges unity, patriotism to tackle national challenges NUPENG directs members to shut down services in Kaduna State Edo Assembly wants livestock farms registered JUSUN urges FG to deduct Judiciary funds from May FAAC Eid-el-Fitr: APC urges Nigerians to pray for country’s leaders, peace, unity WHO panel urges bold overhaul of pandemic prevention measures $540bn remittance flow reaches low-and-middle-income countries in 2020- WB Arsenal dent Chelsea’s Champions League push Kalu salutes Ekweremadu at 59 NECO: 115 inmates credit English, Maths in Enugu Infinix Releases Award Winning NOTE 10 Pro Series Powerful Performance. Iconic design Eid-el-fitr: Yahaya Bello calls for national integration Eid el-Fitr; Atiku wants Nigerians reflect on peace, unity Osinbajo graces Museveni’s inauguration in Kampala Managing mental health conditions among army officers Infant, two others die in gas explosion in Ogun Uzodimma dissolves cabinet, sacks 20 commissioners We don’t demand money from job seekers, NDLEA warns applicants VC assures of infrastructure development in UNICAL Basketball Africa League announces broadcast partners and fixture schedule ahead of inaugural season Eid-el-Fitri: Observe fire safety measures, Fire Service CG urges Nigerians Ourtv introduces sports channels for Extreme fighting, basketball Nizzolo wins the Giro d’Italia Maglia Ciclamino after biting his nails second in stage 5