Forex Restriction For Milk Importation Has Come To Stay – Emefiele

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Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Emefiele presided over a raft of policies aimed at stimulating growth in the agricultural sector to boost non-oil growth. Those policies included the 2015 banning of access to foreign exchange for 41 items that the bank felt could be produced in Nigeria.

The central bank governor on Tuesday said the bank would ban access to foreign exchange to import milk, though he did not say when that restriction would come into force.

“We believe that milk is one of those products that can be produced in Nigeria today,” said Emefiele.

“Today the import of milk annually stands at $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion dollars. That is a very high import product into the country,” he said.

Emefiele reiterated the bank’s goal to cut annual inflation, which stood at 11.22% in June, to single digits.

And he said the bank was “not going to be in a hurry to moderate or bring down” the benchmark interest rate.

The central bank’s decision to leave the benchmark rate at 13.5% on Tuesday was consistent with its move to hold the rate at its previous meeting in May. That meeting followed a surprise cut of 50 basis points in March.

Emefiele at the time said the rate cut was part of an attempt to stimulate growth and signal a “new direction”.

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