The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that milk and other dairy products are part of the list of items not eligible for foreign exchange (FOREX).
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
The apex bank, however, exempted six companies from the restriction.
The CBN has since 2016 started the restriction of FOREX for the importation of items which Nigeria can produce.
The apex bank had released a list of 41 items that will have no access to FOREX and has updated it to include fertiliser, milk, textile, and most recently cassava.
During the last MPC meeting in July, the CBN boss had hinted that the bank wants to restrict FOREX for the importation of milk.
“We believe that milk is one of those products that can be produced in Nigeria,” he said then.
“Milk importation has been going on in Nigeria for over 60 years.
“If you Google West African Milk or Friesland Campina today, they say that they have been importing milk and that they have been in Nigeria for over 60 years.
“Today, the import of milk annually stands at $1.2-$1.5 billion. That is a very high import product into the country.
“Given that it is a product that we are convinced that it is a product that can be produced in Nigeria.
“The reason some say that our cows are not producing much milk is that our cows roam around, they don’t have water to drink.”