The Central Bank of Nigeria has unveiled plans to include sugar and wheat on the list of commodities that will be banned from accessing foreign exchange.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele made this disclosure on Thursday in Awe, Nasarawa state during an inspection tour of the proposed $500m Dangote sugar processing facility.
Emefiele said, “We are looking at sugar and wheat. We started a programme on milk about two years ago. Eventually, these products will go into our FX restriction list.”
He declared the CBN will support the project to succeed owing to its potentials in conserving the much needed foreign exchange to boost the country’s reserves.
He added, “Hopefully, within the next two years, we will provide that support. That is our interest here to reduce reliance on importation.”
CBN’s decision to include sugar and wheat on the FX restriction list, he said, is because the country spends between $600m to $1bn importing sugar into the country annually.
Before adding the commodities to the forex restriction list, the CBN Governor said, “We want to see to what extent we see the traction that is coming from those who are currently importing these items.”
On how much will CBN be supporting the project with he said, “We have made up our mind on how much we will put but of course as you heard from Dangote, the project is worth about $500m. If you convert that to naira, you know how much that is. I know he’s going to commit some equities to it. From there, we will determine what is the shortfall and we will come in through intervention through the banks for whatever loan that is required for this.”
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said the company has acquired 60,000 hectares of land in Awe Nasarawa State to grow up to 30 per cent of Nigeria’s sugar consumption.
He said the CBN has agreed to provide the needed support to make the project a reality.