The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday said the Federal Government spent 2.41 billion dollars on rice importation between January 2012 and May 2015.
Emefiele made this known at a stakeholders’ meeting with officials of Paddy Rice Producing states and Rice Value chain investors in Abuja.
He said the bank’s decision to ban foreign exchange for importation of rice; fish and other items would not be reversed.
According to him, the apex bank has no plans to reverse the ban, adding that the reason for inclusion of rice in the exclusion list was not far-fetched.
He said, “ Figures available with the CBN show that from the period January 2012 to May 2015, the country had spent over 2.41bn dollars on importation of this commodity.
“Unfortunately, this trend has resulted in huge unsold stock of paddy rice cultivated by our farmers and low operating capacities of many integrated rice mills in Nigeria.”
Emefiele said the CBN in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would come up with a comprehensive financing model to support rice millers and other investors in the sector.