WOFAN on Forex ban: Agric vital to Nigeria’s economy

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Hajiya Salamatu Garba, Founder and Executive Director, Women Farmers’ Advancement Network (WOFAN), has said that agriculture is the only sector that holds the key to Nigeria’s economy.

She said this in  in Abuja.

Garba was reacting to the directive given to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by President Muhammadu Buhari to stop providing foreign currency for food imports, a move said to be aimed at helping the country attain more food security.

Given Nigeria’s yearly food import bill and its excessive pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves, she said that the policy held great potential for the economy.

“Agriculture holds the key to Nigeria’s future prosperity and I believe all necessary policies should be put in place to make it the mainstay of our economy.

“The policy directive is well-intentioned, in view of the medium and long-term implications for Nigeria’s food security, job creation, exchange rate and sustainable economic growth,” she said.

Garba however said that the announcement of the policy by the Federal Government was too sudden and without adequate consultations from the monetary authorities.

This, she argued, was nothing but a usurpation of the CBN’s statutory roles.

“The question is: must we continue to eat imported rice when we have all it takes to produce the commodity to meet local demands and make it a competitive commodity globally?” she queried.

She also stressed the need for government to make more credit available and cheaper for agricultural production across the value chain, with priority given to the youth.