NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria has approved four companies i.e. Wacot Limited, Chi farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited and Premier Feeds Company Limited to import 262,000 tons of maize in the country from August to October.

The CBN emergency approval was disclosed in a memo with reference number: NCS/T&T/I&E/021/S.93/VOL, signed by the Deputy Comptroller General, T.M ISA, reports Nairametrics.

“In line with the government’s policy on food security, sufficiency and striking a balance between food imports and local production capacities to meet anticipated shortfall, the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted approval for the underlisted companies to import maize in the quantities stated,” highlighted the letter.

According to the memo, Wacot Limited was approved to import 60,000 tons, with Citi Bank and Titan Trust Bank to be the banks to conduct the transactions.

Chi Farms Limited will import 60,000 tons of maize banking with Titan Trust Limited. Crown Flour Mills, with the lowest capacity approval, would import 22,000 tons via Coronation Bank.

Premier Feeds Company Limited got the highest capacity approval at 120,000 tons and will bank with Zenith Bank for the transaction.

The announcement follows CBN’s directive blocking access to foreign exchange for maize imports, directing all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for importation of the commodity into the country.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced via his twitter account that the Federal government will release 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves to animal feed producers to deal with the high cost of poultry production.

“We are very mindful of the challenge of high food prices, at a time when the economy is already in a slowdown caused by the global coronavirus situation, and are doing everything in our power to bring down the prices of food items across the country,” Buhari said.

To this end the President has so far approved the release of 5,000 metric tonnes of maize at a subsidised rate of N90,000 (US$236) per metric tonne, as against the market price of N170,000 (US$446).

This was conveyed to the Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, in a letter with reference No: SH/COS/05/A/26/1, and signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, indicated The Punch.

Maize constitutes between 50 per cent to 70 per cent of chicken feeds and due to high demands of maize for human consumption, it has created an unhealthy competition.

The industry would have a sigh of relief as the subsidised maize would help resolve the challenge ravaging the industry.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE