The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April announced its decision to restrict access to foreign exchange for sugar and wheat importers. The Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Farmcrowdy, Mr. Akindele Phillips stated in an exclusive interview with BizWatch Nigeria that the apex bank’s decision would boost local production.
Nigeria spends $600m to $1bn importing sugar yearly.
Reacting to the development, Mr. Akindele noted that, “Usually, when similar tax policies are put in place, it is to encourage production within the country. At the policy level, some of the ways to encourage local production or discourage importation is when a restriction is imposed or the import duty is raised.
“So, what I see is, because I am not in government, I am looking at the good side to this kind of policy. What is going to happen is, it is going to encourage local production. So even, if scarcity arises at the initial moment, the farmers that can actually produce these commodities are encouraged to do so to warm more revenue.“
On the bright side it is going to encourage the production of these commodities internally.
When asked if the local capacity for production of these commodities was adequate to cope with ensuing demand, he said, “What usually happens with these policies is, it’s not usually done in silos or isolation, so before the policy is in place, probably at some time there has been some intentional government expenditure. Case in point, maybe fertilizer that will be required or partnership with the private sector that will bring the inputs that will be required to scale the production of these commodities.
“I am rest assured that there are different structures and processes put in place that will complement these efforts such that at the end of the day the increase in demand will be able to meet the capacity to supply internally.”