Following the recent proposal by the Federal government to stop the importation of dairy product in Nigeria, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to provide loans to Nigerians that are ready to venture into cattle farming.
Mr, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor disclosed this yesterday to a journalist at the end of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja. He said Nigeria can no longer sustain the spending of much as between $1.2 - $1.5 on milk importation, annually.
Emefiele opined that Nigeria has the capacity to produce its milk requirement and the CBN is ready to offer that loan to prospective Nigerians that are ready to venture into cattle ranching business in the livestock value chain.
The CBN governor continued, “We believe milk is one of the products that can be produced in Nigeria today. We have seen the importation of milk into Nigeria before many of us were born, precisely over sixty years. West African Milk and Friesland milk, the foremost milk has been doing it for over sixty years.
He further explained that having this huge amount being spent on the importation of milk we are convinced it can be produced in this country. Cows produce little milk due to roaming and this has continued to impede on the output of milk in the country.
According to the Minister, what it really requires in the production of milk is getting a cow and housing it with proper nutrition and you are there.
We are all convinced that the status co of our cows roaming about with little or no water to drink is one of the major factors that has hampering on its outcome of milk production the minister added.
The CBN boss assured that the bank was ready to provide loans for those who want to go into the cattle business.
In his words, “By the time we restrict you, if you need loan to acquire land we’ll give you. If you need a loan to grow your grass, we will give you. To produce water, we will give you loan. But that you will continue to import milk into the country, I think we are getting to the end of road. I will repeat, we are really getting to end of the road.
The era of restriction of forex for importation of milk is coming, and it will come soon and sooner than expected.”
Mr. Emefiele lamented that the milk companies had refused to cooperate with the CBN in the last three and a half years when they were advised to adopt backward integration, in that regard.