President Muhammadu Buhari has re-echoed his earlier fiat to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to grant foreign exchange for food importation.
He also promised that his Government would try its best to curb the inflation of foodstuffs in Nigeria
He claimed that diversification policy of his Government saved Nigeria from the harsh economic realities of COVID-19.
He made this known during his fifth meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council at State House, FCT.
Buhari said: “The CBN must not give money to import food. Already, about seven states are producing all the rice we need. We must eat what we produce,” he stated. The President had in September explained that Nigeria which hitherto had only three fertilizer blending plants now has 33.
He said: “Going back to the land is the way out. We depended on petrol at the expense of agriculture. Now, the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million. At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production cost.”
His words: “We will continue to encourage our people to go back to the land. Our elite is indoctrinated in the idea that we are rich in oil, leaving the land for the city for oil riches. We are back to the land now.
“We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble.”
The meeting waa attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and Humanitarian Affairs counterpart Sadiya Farouk.