Milk Importation: NECA Commends CBN On Policy Reversal
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria on the exemption of six companies from restriction on milk and dairy products importation.
In a new policy released on Tuesday, the CBN restricted milk importation to six firms -FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Chi Limited, TG Arla Dairy Products Limited, Promasidor Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Integrated Dairies Limited.
NECA which spoke through its Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, said the move was timely and a sign of government’s responsiveness to good reasoning and the concern of businesses.
Olawale said, “We commend the Central Bank of Nigeria for the bold step of reversing a policy that almost crippled the dairy and milk industry. “
The Federal Government had in July 2019 restricted access to foreign exchange for the importation of milk because it could be produced in the country to grow the economy.
The apex bank had said that the importation of milk stood at between $1.2bn and $1.5bn annually, adding that it was unacceptable.
Olawale said the exemption of the six companies demonstrated that the government was, indeed, responsive to the concerns the organised labour had expressed.
While the NECA expressed support for the efforts of the CBN to increase local production of milk, its derivatives and dairy products, it advised the government to allow businesses in the sector to plan and implement backward integration.
Olawale added, “Government should, however, ensure policy consistency and encourage investment in animal husbandry to enable these organisations and many other players in the industry to focus on their core business of dairy and milk production.
“The experience in other climes shows that animal husbandry is a thriving industry that generates large employment for the citizens and revenue for government.”
Olawale urged the government to institutionalise dialogue and focused engagement with organised businesses before taking fundamental policy decisions that could affect businesses.
“A collaborative approach to policy formulation and implementation would do well for the development of the nation,” he said.