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President Buhari Lauds Nigerians For Saving $21 Billion From Food Importation




President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded Nigerians for helping to save $ 21 Billion from food importation in the last 3 years.

According to President Buhari, Nigeria has been able to curb its excessive taste for foreign products which has not only saved the country $21 billion but has also positioned it for food self-sufficiency.

“Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from US$665.4 million in January 2015 to US$160.4 million as at October 2018, a cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied savings of over US$21 billion on food imports alone over that period. Most evident were the 97.3% cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6% in fish, 81.3% in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far.”

Mr Buhari said with the commitment of Nigerian farmers, and the support given by the government, “in no distant future, food importation will be completely alien to us, and we will even export actively, thus reversing our position as a mono- product economy.”

The President was reacting to a recent report from the CBN on status of Nigeria’s food imports.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, equally spoke on the number of jobs created in the agriculture sector:

“In the agriculture sector, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has ensured that Nigeria emerged from being a net importer of rice to becoming a major producer, supplying key markets in neighbouring countries. As at October 2018, a total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares, across 16 different commodities, have so far benefited from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which has generated 2,502,675 jobs across the country.”

Describing the development as “heart-warming,” the president said it was just a matter of time before a significantly positive impact would be made in the statistics of the unemployed in the country, particularly from the agriculture sector.

He asserted: “We are on a productive voyage, which would see the ship of state berthing at the harbour of food self-sufficiency, gainful jobs, peace and prosperity for Nigerians.”

The break down showed that rice importation drops by 97.3%, fish 99.6%, 81.3% drop in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat in importation.The President says the humongous savings will be deployed to other critical areas like infrastructure,education, health care, and many others.

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