BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has moved to boost domestic production of milk by engaging six dairy companies operating in the country to import milk and industry related products.
This is in line with its objective of encouraging, increasing and improving local production of milk, its derivatives and other dairy products within the country.
With the development, CBN has therefore directed importers not on the list of approved companies to cancel all established Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives for which shipment are yet to take place.
A circular issued by the Bank on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji listed the companies as Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria; Chi Limited; and TG Arla Dairy Products Limited.
Others also okayed by the CBN are Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Nestle Nigeria PLC (MSK only) and Integrated Dairies Limited.
According to the circular which takes immediate effect, all Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorized dealers will only be allowed for the aforementioned companies.
Giving further insight on the intendment of the circular, Director of Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor explained that the Bank engaged the six companies because they showed sufficient willingness and ability in service delivery.
Furthermore, Okorafor noted that the endorsed companies have already keyed into the CBN’s backward integration programme in order to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.
He said the apex Bank’s objective 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.
The CBN Spokesperson said in addition to facilitating easier access to funding for dairy investors, the apex Bank is desirous to ensure Nigeria conserves foreign exchange; trigger economic growth; and boost employment opportunities in the sector on a sustainable basis.