Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that the federal government is considering placing a ban on the importation of milk.
He revealed that Nigeria spends as much as between $1.2 – $1.5bn to import milk into the country, while speaking shortly, after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting last Tuesday.
The aim is to encourage local production in a bid to boost the nation’s economy.
“We have cows, if the cows are positioned in places without roaming around and they are given water to drink and grass to eat, they will be able to produce quality milk,” Emefiele said.
The CBN boss hinted on the economic loss roaming herds cause saying, “as they move, they consume whatever they see on their way, unfortunately in this movement, they create destruction.”
As a means of ending the clashes, Emefiele said the government had met with officials of dairy companies to mandate them to start getting their raw materials from Nigeria, even if it means setting up schools and ranches for herders.
“We have met with some milk-producing companies almost three times in Lagos for them to begin backward integration and bring their investments to Nigeria and begin production here in this country.”
An average cow in Nigeria is said to produce a litre of milk at its peak.
The private sector has already begun to help the country develop its dairy industry. Friesland Campina, owners of the Peak milk brand, said since their Dairy Development Programme started, they have worked with 3,500 farmers across five milk collection centres.
However, the company, during its visit to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on September 2018, promised to invest a further €23 million and settle 500 herders. It further lamented the absence of incentives to encourage such investments.