By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has imposed foreign exchange, forex, restriction on the importation of milk into the country.
The apex bank exempted and approved six companies for the importation of milk and other dairy products.
They are: FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria; Chi Limited; TG Arla Dairy Products Limited; Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Nestle Nigeria Plc and Integrated Dairies Limited.
CBN said that the circular took immediate effect, adding, “all forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorized dealers will only be allowed for the aforementioned companies.”
The bank, therefore, advised importers not on the list of companies cited in the circular to cancel all established Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives for which shipment has not taken place.
This was contained in a circular issued by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, yesterday.
According to the apex bank, the decision was in line with its objective to increase the local production of milk, its derivatives and other dairy products.
Clarifying the intent of the circular, the Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, explained that the bank engaged the six companies because they showed sufficient willingness and ability and had keyed into the CBN’s backward integration programme in order to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.
Okorafor explained further that the objective of the apex bank in that sector was to increase milk production in the country from the current figure of 500,000 metric tonnes to about 550,000 metric tonnes within the next 12 months.
He also said that CBN would assist investors in the diary sector to achieve the goal of increasing production in the sector and conserve foreign exchange.