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Buhari to CBN: No more forex for food import

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Nigeria has achieved food security, President Buhari declared on Tuesday.

Because of this, he directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop release of foreign exchange for food import.

“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly,” the president declared confidently and directed the CBN not to “give a cent to anybody to import food into the country.”

He spoke when governors elected on the ticket of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), visited him at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, to pay Eid –El-Kabir homage.

The governors were led by Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi). Others in attendance were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Bello Masari (Katsina) , Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Abdullahi Suke (Nasarawa) and Muhammad Yahaya (Gombe).

With them were Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege and Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) Boss Mustapha.

The President urged other states to buy into the ongoing agriculture revolution and emulate states such as Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano that took advantage of the Federal Government’s policies as a result of which they now earn huge returns in rice farming.

The President added that he was delighted that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring agriculture business and entrepreneurship, many of them now posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu quoted Buhari as saying that the country’s foreign reserve should be conserved and utilised strictly for the diversification of the economy and not for food import.

The President also said incoming ministers would be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they met the targets of the APC-led government for the people, with regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

Promising to attend the Presidential Policy Retreat to be organised for the incoming ministers by weekend, he said there must be full compliance with laid down targets on key sectors that will directly impact on Nigerians.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Dr. Fayemi said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had become a major inspiration to governors.

He added that the challenges faced by states “were enormous’’, but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort’’ to overcome the obstacles.

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