EHIME ALEX, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved six dairy companies for the importation of milk products and its derivatives in order to improve local production.
A circular issued by the bank’s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr Ozoemena Nnaji, stated on Tuesday.
The companies which the apex bank approved are FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Chi Limited, TG Arla Dairy Products Limited, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Nestle Nigeria PLC (MSK only) and Integrated Dairies Limited.
Explaining the development as in line with its objective of improving local production of milk in the country, the bank said, “As part of efforts to increase local production of milk, its derivatives and dairy products, the Central Bank of Nigeria has engaged with some companies in the industry who have keyed into the Bank’s backward integration program to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.”
The bank stated emphatically that all Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorised dealers “shall only be allowed for” the aforementioned companies.
Form ‘M’ is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods.
It is therefore mandatory for all importers to complete and register Form ‘M’ with Authorised Dealers at the time of placing orders whether the transaction is valid for foreign exchange or not.
Adding, the apex bank advised that importers who are not on the approved list should cancel all established Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives for which shipment had not taken place.
In a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Isaac Okorafor, CBN’s director of corporate communications department, while speaking on the development, said that the bank has engaged the six companies because of their demonstrable capacity willingness.
Okorafor said also that the approved companies had adopted the CBN’s backward integration programme in order to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.
He explained further that the objective of the bank in the sector is to increase milk production in the country from the current figure of 500,000 metric tonnes to about 550,000 metric tonnes within the next 12 months.
In addition to facilitating easier access to funding for dairy investors, Okorafor said the CBN desires to ensure that the country conserved foreign exchange, trigger economic growth and boost employment opportunities in the sector.
(with additional report from NAN)