The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) is set to impose forex restrictions on the importation of sugar and wheat into the country, a move believed to be one of the government’s objectives to encourage local production of the commodities and push its economic diversification project.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, made mention of the ban during an inspection tour of the proposed $500 million Dangote sugar processing facility in Nasarawa State on Thursday, April 15.
According to Emefiele, CBN’s decision to place sugar and wheat on the FX restriction list is because the country has spent between $600 million to $1 billion importing the sweet commodity into the country annually and for the country to strengthen its sustainability drive, the commodities should be produced in the country rather than being imported.
The CBN governor further assured that the apex bank will support Dangote’s sugar facility project, adding that the interest is to reduce reliance on importation.
Commenting on how much CBN was supporting the project with, Emefiele said the $500 million project is a huge investment of Dangote but the apex bank will come in through intervention through the banks for whatever loan that is required for the full execution of the project.
In his remarks, Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, said 60,000 hectares of land have been acquired in Awe, Nasarawa, to grow up to one-third of Nigeria’s sugar consumption, which is estimated at a million tonnes.
It would be recalled that the CBN had on March 26, 2021, issued a statement announcing its plan to reduce importation by 60 percent within a two-year timeframe to ensure an increase in local wheat production.