The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has restated the need for States in the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be self-sustaining and economically viable, promising that the Bank will support projects and programmes that will help them realise this desire.
Mr. Emefiele stated this in Abuja on Monday, February 17, 2020, when he led a team from the CBN and three major dairy companies – FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and L& Z – on a courtesy call on the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello.
The CBN Governor, who commended efforts at ensuring improved security in the FCT, said the team was at the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to apprise the Minister with some key initiatives of the Bank that will help boost job creation as well as fast-track the processes leading to the allocation of land to the three companies that had requested for land to establish dairy processing plants in the FCT.
While imploring the FCT Minister to assist the companies in the expeditious allocation of land to them, Mr. Emefiele expressed confidence that the establishment of the companies in the FCT would drive industrialization, stimulate local production of milk and the development of the local dairy sector. He said the move would also boost employment generation, facilitate linkages along the dairy sector in Nigeria and conserve huge foreign exchange for the country.
He further noted that the collaborative effort by the CBN and the private sector, particularly under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), had started to yield significant results with deliberate measures by the companies to embrace the backward integration measures and boost job creation and industrialization locally.
Citing the Bobi Grazing Reserve in Niger State, where 31,000 hectares of land had been allocated by the State Government to dairy companies, as one of such strategic partnerships entered by the Bank, Emefiele said local dairy breeds would enhance milk collection and also integrate the local pastoralist as well as curb the farmers-herders clashes.
The Governor also disclosed that the Bank was working closely with other stakeholders to ensure that products were taken off farmers at an agreed price with the farmers, adding that the Bank was also engaging to revamp the Abuja Commodity Exchange to ensure standardization of prices.
In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhmmad Bello, commended the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for his passion in revamping the Nigerian economy, noting that the intervention policies of the Bank under the Muhammadu Buhari administration had worked. He, however, called for the establishment of a price stabilizing mechanism to guarantee prices for farmers to encourage them to always return to farm, with the assurance of their products being taken off them at harvest.
Alhaji Bello pledged to facilitate the provision of land to the companies to enable them to establish their processing factories within a short period of time, even as he disclosed that the FCT masterplan envisaged four grazing reserves in Bwari, Karshi, Gwagwalada and Rubochi.