The President of Nigeria Muhammad Buhari has blocked ford importation in a bid to promote local agriculture.
The President went ahead and ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria not to release the foreign currency to foreign importers.
Speaking in regard to the new development, spokesman Garba Shehu said that the foreign reserve will be utilized strictly to diversify the economy and not encourage dependence on foreign imports.
“President @MBuhari Tuesday in Daura, Katsina State, disclosed that he has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country, with the steady improvement in agricultural production, & attainment of full food security.” Said the Government spokesman
The West Africa country which has a population of around 200 million heavily depends on foreign imports.
Despite being the biggest oil producer, Nigeria uses most of its revenues on importing basic goods such as food and machinery.
Impact of blocking imports to Nigeria
President Buhari once blocked the importation of rice in order to promote local farmers through posing restrictions on foreign exchange.
The effect of the ban led to an increase in black markets where sellers sold rice in huge quantities through their neighboring borders.
He then blocked the importation of milk with the same argument that the local economy should be boosted.
In 2019, importation of agricultural products increased by 25% when the country had already spent about 500 million dollars in importation in 2018 alone.
The effect of the ban is expected to increase the price of agricultural products as local farmers will have control over its supply and sell.