CBN okays 4 firms to import 262,000 tons of maize
As food shortage looms, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given approval to four Nigerian firms to import 262,000 tons of maize.
The firms comprise Crown Flour Mills Limited, Premier Feeds Company Limited, Chi Farms Limited and Wacot Limited.
A memo by Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and signed by Deputy Comptroller General, T.M Isa, revealed that the firms have been issued emergency approval by the bank to import maize into the country.
The memo reads: “In line with the government’s policy on food security, sufficiency and striking a balance between food imports and local production capacities to meet the anticipated shortfall; the CBN has granted approval for the underlisted companies to import maize in the quantities stated below.”
The decision by the CBN comes in the wake of a policy shift; barring the importation of maize in a move aimed at self-sufficiency and also conservation of the foreign exchange; spent annually in bringing the commodity into the country.
According to the memo, banks are to conduct the transactions with the companies’ names as well as the quantity each of them is approved to import.
Given the breakdown, Wacot Limited has been approved to import 60,000 tons and conduct the import transactions of the approved capacity in equal proportion with Citibank as well as Titan Trust Bank.
While Chi Farms Limited will import 60,000 tons through Titan Trust Bank; while Crown Flour Mills will import 22,000 tons via Coronation Bank.
Meanwhile, Premier Feeds Company Limited got approval to import 120,000 tons through Zenith Bank Plc.
The NCS said only the four companies had the liberty to import maize and that the exercise would also run from August to October.
President Muhammdu Buhari last Thursday announced via his twitter handle, @MBuhari, about the government’s plan to release 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves to animal feed manufacturers to address the high cost of poultry production following the ban on maize importation.