President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the issuance of foreign exchange for the importation of food into the country.
President Buhari disclosed this when he received governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, on Tuesday, as part of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, President Buhari explained that the directive was imperative as the country has already achieved food security.
The president said the country has reached a stage where the dependence on foreign food import bills should no longer be encouraged.
He noted that the foreign reserve would instead be used towards actualising the diversification of the country’s economy.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security, we are not doing badly,” Shehu quoted President Buhari as saying during the meeting.
President Buhari said some states such as Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming.
He, therefore, urged more states to plug into the ongoing revolution to feed the nation.
The president also expressed delight over the acceptance of agricultural practices by young Nigerians, noting that many of them, including graduates, had started exploring agric-business and entrepreneurship, with many posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.
Speaking earlier, Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had turned a major inspiration to governors on the way forward for the country.
In a related development, President Buhari has declared that he will appoint a minister who knows about agriculture to head the sector’s federal ministry.
The president made this declaration when he hosted leaders of various communities from five Local Government Areas of Daura Emirate, according to a separate statement also issued by Shehu on Tuesday.
Shehu quoted his principal as saying that agriculture remains the country’s strength and the sector will be utilised to improve both the economy and the welfare of Nigerians.
“I will appoint a minister who knows agriculture and its role in providing jobs and growing our economy.
“You have seen how we broke the fertiliser jinx in the country.
”We will do more to better the lots of our farmers. Agriculture is our strength,” President Buhari said.