The presidency has given the reason President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop making available, foreign exchange to importers of fertilizer and food item, despite criticisms from some FX analysts and stakeholders.
It revealed that the move by the president to suspend the allocation of foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports is an action borne out of patriotism.
This disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, when he appeared as a guest, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Program, on Friday September 11, 2020.
The Presidential media aide said that the President’s motive stems purely from devotion to the best interest of Nigeria.
Garba Shehu said, ‘’Nigerians must give consideration for the fact that the President’s directive to the CBN is driven by nothing other than a patriotic motive to promote what we grow’’
While responding to those who think that the president’s directive is overreaching, the Presidential spokesman said, ‘’I am not sure there is anywhere in the world that the Central Bank is so independent that it will operate like foreign ownership.’’
Nairametrics had reported that in its quest to diversify the economy and boost the agricultural sector, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the CBN to stop giving foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports, a move which some analysts have been very critical of, insisting that the CBN should be independent and not have policies imposed on it by a political authority.
The President stated that companies that want to continue with food and fertilizer importation can get their foreign exchange from other independent sources.
In its reaction, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), warned that this new policy could cause further inflation as the country was not yet sufficient in food production.