Buhari to CBN: Stop giving forex for food

President Muhammadu Buhari-23
President Muhammadu Buhari
  • President hosts SGF, Omo-Agege, 10 APC govs in Daura

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing Foreign Exchange for the importation of food into the country.

Buhari made the disclosure as dignitaries continued to throng his Daura residence where he is spending the Eid el-Kabir holidays.


Though the president did not elaborate, Daily Trust reports that  already rice; margarine; palm kernel/palm oil products/vegetables oils; meat and processed meat products; vegetables and processed vegetable products; poultry chicken, eggs, turkey; tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardines; tomatoes/tomato pastes are among the 41 items banned by the CBN from accessing forex.

President Muhammadu Buhari with APC governors and senior government officials who paid him Sallah homage in Daura Katsina State yesterday

The president said with the steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security, there was no need for importation.

He said the foreign reserves will be conserved and utilized strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.

“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly. Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country.

“Some states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano have already taken advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming. More states should plug into the ongoing revolution to feed the nation,” he said.

Buhari expressed delight that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring agri-business and entrepreneurship.

“Many have posted testimonies of good returns on their investments,” he said.

He said the incoming ministers will be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they meet the targets of the APC-led government for the people, with regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

Buhari said he will attend the Presidential Policy Retreat organized for the ministers by the OSFG, and insisted on compliance with laid down targets on key sectors of the economy that will directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.

Among those hosted by the president to Eid el-Kabir lunch at his country home in Daura, Katsina State were the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, and 10 governors who are of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The governors include Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Mohammad Badaru (Jigawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun). The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha was also in attendance.

Our correspondent reports also that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, FRCN Director General Mansur Liman, two ministers-designate, Rotimi Amaechi and Isa Pantami were also at the president’s residence.


You’ve inspired us – Fayemi tells Buhari

Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had turned a major inspiration to governors on the way forward for the country.

He said the challenges faced by states “were enormous’’, but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort’’ to overcome all the obstacles.


Buhari’s economic policy working – Bagudu

Also, in an interview, chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, said the economic policy of President Buhari was working.

“The country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people,” he said.

“We are proud of the achievements that Nigeria recorded under him (Buhari) particularly commended him for the visionary policies that he has put in place to create a nation that works for the majority.

“Today, people who have not been included are being included whether in the area of school feeding, cash transfer, agricultural programs, targeted at low income earners. To the extend Nigeria is achieving food security.

“We have food supply like we have never had before. Prices of major cereal has reduce by not less than 40 percent in the last one year, an indicator that the economic policy is working and working well for the growth of the country. We commended him well for that. We urge him to continue doing those courageous things which have led us to where we are,” he added.


What Buhari’s Daura residence symbolizes – SGF

The SGF said President Buhari’s residence in Daura is a true reflection of his personality.

Mustapha said they were at the residence to pay Sallah homage to the president.

Describing the visit as “a refreshing moment”, he said the modest residence revealed the true personality of the president.

“Every time you come to the serene environment and look at the modest life our president is living, it reminds you of the fact that there is much more to it than the quest for material things.

“This is a house he has been living for probably four to five decades, it has not changed, the furniture hasn’t been changed because he is offering selfless service to the nation,” he said.

He said the lesson from the president’s modest life should sink into the minds of all.

“We must try to offer service to the masses without thinking of ourselves and our comfort alone. There is more to public service than the benefit that come with it,” he said.

He said “we have assured him (Buhari) that we will continue to do our best to ensure the creation of an enabling environment for him to be able to deliver the dividend of Democracy.”


We’ll support the president – Omo-Agege

In an interview, Omo-Agege told newsmen that the Senate will provide an enabling environment for the implementation of the next level agenda of the president.

“We are here representing the Senate President and the senate to extend felicitation to Mr President for Sallah.

“You know, it has not been very easy for us as a country in term of the challenges we face. Notwithstanding, Mr. President has managed to steer the country very successfully.

“We came here to congratulate him and also to reassure him that going forward the National Assembly, most especially the Senate that we are ready to provide enabling environment for the content of the next level agenda be implemented,” he said.


We’ll deliver, NNPC boss says

In an interview, the NNPC boss said they were in Daura to pay homage to the president and reassure him of their commitment to deliver. “It is our tradition to pay homage to our leaders and family in time of eid. We consider ourselves as members of this family.

“To also assure him that the very huge task that he has placed on our hands, we will deliver it to the end. We are right on course and Insha Allah, within the shortest frame of time, we will deliver on all our promises,” he said.


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