President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal government will release 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves to animal feed producers to deal with the high cost of poultry production after the ban on maize imports.
This was disclosed by the President in a social media statement on Thursday morning.
Nairametrics reported in July that The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country. This directive was contained in a notice that was addressed to authorised dealers and signed by Dr O.S Nnaji, CBN’s Director in charge of Trade and Exchange Department.
Dr. Ikechukwu Kelikume, the Programme Director of the Lagos Business School Agribusiness programme, warned that the policy could further compound the woes of poultry farmers given that maize, which constitutes over 50 per cent of poultry feed content is currently very scarce, and where available, is very expensive, even as the price keeps rising.
President Buhari noted that the government is doing everything in its power to tackle the rising cost of food prices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very mindful of the challenge of high food prices, at a time when the economy is already in a slowdown caused by the global coronavirus situation, and are doing everything in our power to bring down the prices of food items across the country,” Buhari said.
He told Nigerians that the rising food prices will be a “transient” issue as he blamed middlemen for exploitative behaviours, “which is one of the factors responsible for the high food prices being experienced”.