The African Union, Economics, Social, and Cultural Council (Ecosocc), Nigeria chapter, has commended the federal government decision to restrict foreign exchange to importers of food into the country.
Accirding to Ecosocc Nigeria, such a decision will enhance Nigeria agriculture development and enable producer in the sector harness the benefit of the African continental free trade area agreement signed by the country recently.
The council in a statement signed by the Nigerian representative, Oba Olasunkunmi John on Thursday in Abuja, however urged the federal government to ensure adequate investment in the sector to enable the country meet up with demand which is one of the major reasons for food importation.
Olasunkunmi commended the CBN for its agricultural friendly policies noting that the decision to restrict forex will improve the nation’s agricultural production and attainment of full food security.
He advised the apex bank to ensure that the huge funds the country spend on importation of food is channeled toward agriculture to reverse the trend.
He said Nigeria huge annual food import is detrimental to the nations strives to achieve food sufficiency.
Olasunkunmi further called on the federal government to stamp out smuggling totally as the policy may increase smuggling if not properly manage.
“There is no more excuse for the government not to increase budgetary allocation to the sector now in accordance to the Malabo declaration with Nigeria is signatory to.”
He called on farmers in Nigeria to take advantage of this to produce sufficient food and urged research institutes to assert their importance now to develop through time tested research that would enhance Nigeria efforts at attaining food sufficiency and security.