The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has issued licenses to four firms to import tons of maize into the country.
According to the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, the firms have been issued emergency approval by the Bank to import 262,000 tons of maize into the country.
This was contained in a memo issued by the NCS Deputy Comptroller General, T.M Isa.
“In line with the government’s policy on food security, sufficiency; and striking a balance between food imports; and local production capacities to meet the anticipated shortfall; the CBN has granted approval for the underlisted companies to import maize in the quantities stated below,” the memo reads.
The firms comprise Crown Flour Mills Limited; Premier Feeds Company Limited; also Chi Farms Limited; as well as Wacot Limited.
This decision by the CBN comes in the wake of a policy shift; barring the importation of maize in a move aimed at self-sufficiency and also conservation of the foreign exchange; spent annually in bringing the commodity into the country.
Banks are to conduct the transactions with the companies’ names; as well as the quantity each of them is approved to import, the NCS memo said.
Wacot Limited has been approved to import 60,000 tons; and is to conduct the import transactions of the approved capacity in equal proportion with Citibank as well as Titan Trust Bank.
Chi Farms Limited will import 60,000 tons through Titan Trust Bank; while Crown Flour Mills will import 22,000 tons via Coronation Bank.
Premier Feeds Company Limited got approval to import 120,000 tons through Zenith Bank Plc.
The NCS said only the 4 companies had the liberty to import maize; and that the exercise would also run from August to October.
Meanwhile, President Muhammdu Buhari on Thursday announced via his Twitter handle, @MBuhari, about the government’s plan to release 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves to animal feed manufacturers to address the high cost of poultry production following the ban on maize importation.
“To ease the current high cost of poultry production; I have approved the release of 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves, to animal feed producers,” he said.