CBN decries N630b food import bill



The Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] has said that the country’s economy can no longer sustain the food import bill put at over N630 billion annually, calling for immediate diversification of the economy through agriculture and agro-based industries.

To the apex bank, apart from creating employment and ensuring food sufficiency for the people, diversification of the economy via agriculture will increase the foreign exchange base for the nation.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the declaration yesterday in his keynote address to a two-day Nigerian Agrifinance Conference holding in Abuja.

Emefiele, who was represented by the CBN Deputy-Governor, Corporate-Services, Adebayo Adelabu said: ‘’With an annual food imports bill of over N630 billion (Decreased from N1.3trillion), unemployment rate of 9.9 percent and poverty, economic diversification is no longer optional but a necessity to re position our economy to attain inclusive growth and global competitiveness.’’

He said agriculture and agro-based industries remained most fundamental to the diversification efforts as a major contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) in the country.

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