The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy on milk importation, saying that the policy will do more harm than good to investors and the citizenry as it will trigger disruptions in the business environment.
In a statement by Muda Yusuf, its director general, LCCI also argued that the new policy “will create supply gaps in the market with sever harmful consequences.”
While describing the commitment of the CBN to the backward integration agenda of the federal government as laudable, the LCCI insisted that it is important that in “seeking to achieve this objective, the sequencing and strategy must be right.”
“The policy will do more harm than good, both to investors and the citizens. It would trigger avoidable disruptions and dislocations in the investment environment and further undermine investors’ confidence. It would create huge supply gaps in the market with severe harmful consequences.”
The LCCI said from all indications, the Nigerian economy is not ripe for the policy, adding that for all practical purposes, it would be tantamount to a ban on importation of milk in whatever form as most banks would not process Form M for any product on the CBN forex exclusion list.
“We currently do not have dairy cows in the country. The dominant milk producing system in Nigeria is the Fulani nomadic system whose cows have a milk yield of less than two litres per day. Whereas a good dairy cow will produce an average of 28 litres of milk, per day over 10 months, “ LCCI explained.
“During peak lactation, a high yielding dairy cow can produce as high as 60 litres of milk per day. The reality is that Nigerian cows have very low yield because of poor genetic composition, poor feeding practices and the laborious nomadic system of breeding.”
According to LCCI, these are fundamental issues that “we need to fix before contemplating any form of import restriction.”