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CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele. NAN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restricted provision of Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for cassava and its by-products.

Concise News understands that the CBN in a statement on Friday noted that as the largest producer of cassava, it is regrettable for the country to encourage its importation.

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The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said this in Abuja after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Emefiele noted that some of the affected by-products include starch and ethanol.

“Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava,” Emefiele said.

“If Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava then we should not allow people to say they want to import starch or they want to import ethanol or they want to import sorbitol into Nigeria.

“We will prevent them from doing so with all our might.”

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.”

Nigeria’s apex bank has since 2016 started the restriction of FOREX for the importation of items which the country can produce.

The CBN had released a list of 41 items which will have no access to FOREX and has updated it to include fertiliser, milk, textile and most recently cassava.