Stella Dimoko Presidency Reacts To Financial Times Article Condemning Buhari's Order To CBN


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Monday, August 19, 2019

Presidency Reacts To Financial Times Article Condemning Buhari's Order To CBN

The Presidency has described as untrue the Financial Times report suggesting that Nigeria has placed restrictions on importation of agricultural products into the country.

Buhari had ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to release foreign exchange for food importation.

The article with the headline: ”Muhammadu Buhari sparks dismay over policy on food imports”, was published on Aug. 15, alleging that the Buhari administration has placed embargo or restrictions on food imports.

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a letter addressed to the Editor of the Financial Times and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, dismissed the content of the article, describing it as incorrect.

According to the presidential aide, there is no ban or restriction placed on the importation of agricultural products into the country as being insinuated in the report.

He maintained that the Buhari administration had consistently worked towards strengthening Nigeria’s own industrial and agricultural base.

The statement read in part: ”Sir – Your article “Muhammadu Buhari sparks dismay over policy shift on food imports” (Aug. 15) suggests the Nigerian Government is restricting the import of agricultural products into the country. This is simply incorrect.

”To be absolutely clear, there is no ban or restriction on the importation of food items whatsoever.

”President Buhari has consistently worked towards strengthening Nigeria’s own industrial and agricultural base. A recent decision sees the Central Bank maintain its reserves to put to use helping growth of domestic industry in 41 product sectors rather than provide FOREX for the import of those products from overseas.

”Should importers of these items wish to source their FOREX from non-government financial institutions (and pay customs duty on those imports – increasing tax-take, something the FT has berated Nigeria for not achieving on many occasions) they are freely able to do so.

”Diversification of FOREX provision towards the private sector and away from top-heavy government control, a diversification of Nigeria’s industrial base, and an increase in tax receipts – are all policies one might expect the Financial Times to support.

”Yet for reasons not quite clear, the author and this newspaper seem to believe the president’s administration seeks to control everything – and yet do so via policies that relinquish government control.

”We look forward to the next installment of M. Munshi’s bizarre and puzzling article series,” he said.


  1. Replies
    1. Yea you made it Lol... You deserve an accolade for that.

  2. I don't know why government says a thing and when people react and shows their dismay over it,they comes up with lies to either counter it or justify their initial proposals. We all read that directives last week from the presidency. I don't know why the disclaimer now.

    The country is already at a great mess and any thing done to further impoverish the middle class or average Nigeria, may meet a strong opposition.

    1. TeeJay, you just jump into every post without deep thinking and comprehension. Just like I told you yesterday under the Ekweremadu's beating post, you must not make comments on every post. Leave technical issues and only focus on less brainy stuff (celebrity gossips). The President's directive to CBN is to include some food items (that are being cultivated locally, especially rice) in the prohibition list, so that foreign exchange is not made available to importers at the relatively subsidized CBN official rate. Importers are free to sauce for their fx from other sauces at whatever market exchange rates. Yes, we have not got it right as a country but can't we start with some low hanging fruits.

    2. Just noticed this - Source(s) not sauce, pls. These phones would not stop embarrassing one

    3. I've sampled his opinion on some technical issues(RUGA & Kanu) till today, he didn't reply my comments on those threads. To criticize is easy. Provide another way if you know any, he won't say anything again.

      When NITEL was privatized, the whole thing was wobbly at the beginning. Ordinary Sim card was a fortune, even palasa Nokia 3310. But now, the situation is better.

    4. You sound as if my input will make any sense to the people it's being directed to. I responded on the RUGA issues unless you didn't get to read my comment. As for Kanu issue, maybe I didn't get to see your question.

    5. At least, convince us here that you have better ideas.

      I was on the lookout for your response, I didn't see anything!

  3. Diversion of foreign currency in 3, 2, 1...

  4. What I know is that local production of those 41 Forex restricted items is a good thing. If you must import those things, go and source for dollars elsewhere, while the CBN provide support to local farmers..

    The world is going green. The world is ditching fossil fuel for renewable energy, which means petrol, diesel and the likes won't sell again. If ordinary fall in price of crude oil in the international market could occasion recession in Nigeria, what would happen when no country buys it?

    So now is the time for aggressive policy change. The same policy worked when nitel was privatized

    1. Will the ban be extended to Dangote and his likes? or they will enjoy waver?

  5. The statement by the govt does not mention waiver for anybody. So if you have proof of waiver, feel free to share it here. If you also feel that the ban is not good, feel free to share alternative ideas you feel can save us as a nation when oil will not longer sell

    1. If I didn't see that one, I'm waiting for you on this one

  6. Don't hold your breath waiting g for Teejay oh! All he knows how to do very well is to criticize (join the crowd who criticize) without giving any alternatives.


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