Emefiele vows to block maize importation
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday vowed to resist importation of maize as Nigerians have the capacity and capability to grow the crop locally to meet consumption demand.
On that note, he has urged youths across the country to embrace agriculture, declaring the bank’s readiness to support those willing to venture into it.
Emefiele made the declaration in Katsina at the unveiling of the first maize pyramid and flag-off of the 2021 maize wet season farming under the CBN-Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
He averred that Nigerian youths could leverage their talents, along with technological tools to improve farm productivity and delivery of agricultural produce to markets.
While noting that agriculture offered significant benefits for the youth, Emefiele reiterated that the Bank had put in place several measures to improve access to credit for youths interested in Agriculture under the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Agri Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme(AGSMEIS).
According to him, groups of youth with contiguous land for farming are eligible to seek the Bank’s support through the CBN prime anchor arrangement. “The CBN will not only provide access to credit for these youths but will also provide guarantees that their produce will be purchased by a prime anchor at agreed prices,” the Governor assured.
Meanwhile, the CBN Governor stated that the bank would resist attempts by those who seek to continually import maize into the country, noting that maize farmers in Nigeria had what it takes to close the maize demand gap of over 4.5 million metric tonnes in the country.