Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated that the Federal Government spent over $1.6bn on food importation from January to September last year.
The apex bank disclosed this in a report on sectoral utilisation of foreign exchange for the third quarter of 2021.
According Punch, the government spent $163.60m, $197.73m, and $171.05m in January, February and March, respectively, while $156.30m, $135.72m and $213.58m were spent in April May and June, respectively.
While $184.69m, 188.88m and 271.59m were spent in July, August and September, respectively, the report added.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said this during the Bankers’ Committee retreat in Lagos, as he said Nigeria could produce enough to feed its citizens.
Emefiele said, “We believe that Nigeria can feed itself; Nigeria can produce what to eat. Everything needs to be done for us to move away from a situation where everything is imported.
“We need to get to a stage where we bring our manufacturing industries back to life again.
“For us to say that there is sustainable, inclusive growth in the country, we, as banks, working with government must do everything possible to diversify the Nigerian economy.
“We have to do everything possible to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. We will do everything possible to reduce the rate of poverty in our country.”
He said if Nigeria is able to diversify the economy, reduce unemployment and poverty, the level of insecurity in the country will reduce.
The CBN Boss noted that there were companies that were ready to conduct credible business but did not have the capital.
“We will help in providing jobs and employment for Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, under the programme, targeted credit of up to N5bn will be provided to 100 firms every 100 days, provided the firms are investing in greenfield projects.
He noted that routine audits would be conducted on firms that receive funding, to ensure that they are complying with the terms of the programme.