..injects $210m into Forex Market
By Etuka Sunday
In line with its objective to increase and improve the local production of milk, its derivatives and other dairy products in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has engaged six dairy companies operating in the country for the importation of the product.
A circular issued by the Bank on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji listed the companies as FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria; Chi Limited; TG Arla Dairy Products Limited; Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Nestle Nigeria PLC (MSK only) and Integrated Dairies Limited.
According to the circular that takes immediate effect, all Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorized dealers will only be allowed for the aforementioned companies.
The Bank therefore advised importers not on the list of companies cited in the circular to cancel all established Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives for which shipment has not taken place.
Clarifying the intent of the circular, the Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor explained that the Bank engaged the six companies because they showed sufficient willingness and ability and had keyed into the CBN’s backward integration programme in order to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.
Okorafor further explained that the objective of the Bank in that sector was 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, he said it was the Bank’s desire to ensure that the country conserves foreign exchange, trigger economic growth and boost employment opportunities in the sector.
Meanwhile, the CBN has again injected the sum of $210 million into the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market to boost liquidity in the sector.
Sources at the Bank on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, disclosed that authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $55 million.
Similarly, customers seeking foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were allocated a total of $55 million.
Confirming the figures, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said the CBN’s commitment to sustaining liquidity and ensuring stability in the market remained paramount on the minds of the Bank’s management.
According to Okorafor, the continued intervention by the Bank underscored the resolve of the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to guarantee access to all those who genuinely required foreign exchange from the forex market.
It will be recalled that on Friday, February 7, 2020, the Bank injected the sum of $218.41 million and CNY18 million into the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) segment.
Meanwhile, the Naira on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 remained stable, exchanging at an average of N358/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.