The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to blacklist any firm, its owner and top management caught smuggling or dumping any of the restricted 43 items into Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on Friday in Abuja during a meeting with oil palm producers on Friday.
According to him, the presidential directive mandated the apex bank to expand and provide support to firms and individuals that want to expand the production of ten different commodities in Nigeria.
Emefiele who listed the ten different products which include rice, maize, cassava, tomatoes, cotton, oil palm, poultry, fish, livestock dairy and cocoa added that close to about N30 billion had already been disbursed to those currently involved in oil palm farming.
For those coming newly into the oil business, Emefiele said that credit facilities would be extended to them through their banks and that Out-Grower schemes would also be organised.
“We want to make everybody understand how serious we are and also to emphasise that what we are doing to stop the importation of oil palm into Nigeria is a presidential directive that must be adhered to.
“Doing this also means that while we are stopping the importation of palm oil, we must do all possible to ensure that palm oil production is aggressively increased in Nigeria.
“Like you, all know, and I never cease talking about it that Nigeria in the 50’s and 60’s used to be the largest producer of oil palm in the world with a market share of 40 percent.
“For one reason or the other, particularly because we found crude oil that even today by any analysis is cheaper than palm oil, we decided to abandon our God-given gift – palm oil.
“By doing that we lost jobs, our farmers lost jobs because we began to import palm oil from different parts of the world,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion, Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said that 118,000 hectares of land had been identified for the oil palm programme in the state.
The governor who further revealed that 115,000 hectares would be used for the actual cultivation while three hectares would be used for infrastructure, including roads said oil palm and other value crops like rubber, cocoa were the base on which the economy of this country was built at independence. “