The Second Deputy National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Barrister Dele Oye has said that the recent Forex restriction on milk importation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), would encourage local production.
Barrister Oye also said that the move by CBN would also protect local producers and make milk production more competitive.
Barrister Oye who disclosed this in an interview recently also cautioned that there was need to ensure that local milk production would satisfy local production, else it would hurt the downstream players.
His words: “With the restriction of forex for milk; foreign milk will be more expensive in the market and importers have to pay more for forex.
“This will lead to local milk becoming more competitive. It will protect the local producers who may expand capacity However, the policy needs to be consistent to yield lasting results.
“We also need to be sure that there is sufficient local capacity to meet local demand and that the policy will not hurt downstream players (like yoghurt manufacturers) who depend on imported milk for their inputs”.
On palm oil production, he said there was need to increase production by increasing the total area of oil palm under cultivation.
Barrister Oye urged the government to recruit and train extension workers, and also encourage private sectors and individuals who are willing to invest in palm oil production.
“The country need to be focused It has to expand production by investing in increasing total land area under cultivation. There should also be a deliberate and conscious effort aimed at expanding milling and refining facilities to meet up with expected additional output.
“There is also a need for skilled and knowledgeable agricultural personnel across the country that would in turn bridge the gap of Nigeria’s large infrastructural deficit.
“The government and the private sector should also be determined to improve the industry’s knowledge gap via focused recruitment, training of extension workers, aggregating Small Hold Farmers’ production as well as privatising Nigerian Institute for Oil palm research (NIFOR) to catalyse industry growth and productivity.
“Most importantly, Nigeria should encourage agriculture by investing massively and empowering private sector individuals and groups who are considering agricultural projects”, he added.