In their avowed determination to make Nigeria a self-sufficient entity in food production as a way of increasing food security and limiting how much foreign exchange it deploys to importation, both the fiscal and monetary authorities have increased funding for the sector since 2015.
However, despite the tons of billions pumped into it, little has practically been achieved.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said that the institution, under his management, would deploy developmental initiatives to create an enabling environment with appropriate incentives to empower innovative entrepreneurs to drive growth and development.
He explained that some of the Central Bank’s developmental functions will include credit allocations and direct interventions in key sectors of the economy such as power, agriculture, MSME, oil & gas, and health.
Specifically, on agriculture, Emefiele said: “CBN will revisit the goals and implementations of our intervention programmes in the agricultural sector, in order to ensure that high value addition is obtained from funds provided.”
He further stated that “interventions in the sector will now be driven towards improving productivity in areas with high domestic demand, where opportunities exist to improve domestic supply, such as rice, fish, wheat and sugar and the conservation of foreign exchange.”
“These four commodities constitute a huge proportion of our food import bill of N1.3 trillion annually. The CBN will facilitate the creation of an ecosystem that will identify and link various local producers and processors with major importers of selected products. With the expected increase in local production, identified major importers will be encouraged to act as off-takers to local producers.”