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14 August 2019

No more forex for food import, Buhari tells CBN

Nigeria has achieved food security, President Buhari declared on Tuesday.

Because of this, he directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop release of foreign exchange for food import.

“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly,” the president declared confidently and directed the CBN not to “give a cent to anybody to import food into the country.”

He spoke when governors elected on the ticket of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), visited him at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, to pay Eid –El-Kabir homage.

The governors were led by Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi). Others in attendance were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Bello Masari (Katsina) , Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Abdullahi Suke (Nasarawa) and Muhammad Yahaya (Gombe).

With them were Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege and Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) Boss Mustapha.

The President urged other states to buy into the ongoing agriculture revolution and emulate states such as Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano that took advantage of the Federal Government’s policies as a result of which they now earn huge returns in rice farming.

The President added that he was delighted that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring agriculture business and entrepreneurship, many of them now posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu quoted Buhari as saying that the country’s foreign reserve should be conserved and utilised strictly for the diversification of the economy and not for food import.

The President also said incoming ministers would be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they met the targets of the APC-led government for the people, with regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

Promising to attend the Presidential Policy Retreat to be organised for the incoming ministers by weekend, he said there must be full compliance with laid down targets on key sectors that will directly impact on Nigerians.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Dr. Fayemi said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had become a major inspiration to governors.

He added that the challenges faced by states “were enormous’’, but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort’’ to overcome the obstacles.

Governor Bagudu spoke of the President’s unique leadership style of maintaining a healthy relationship with governors on individual and collective basis, pointing  out that they had been “energised’’ to do more in their states.

The governor commended the President for making bold and courageous efforts to reposition the economy through inclusive policies.

“The country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people,’’ he added.

The governor said the party had been repositioned after the 2019 elections to work for the benefit of the majority of Nigerians, noting that “there will be elections in two states this year and we need to work towards winning the two states.’’

Speaking when leaders of the various communities from the five local government areas of Daura Emirate visited him, President Buhari promised to improve on the lives of Nigerians in the next four years.

He promised continuos priority attention to the poor, saying he “is convinced majority of Nigerians understand who he is and his mission before renewing his mandate for another term.

Shehu quoted the President as saying: “You know how much I laboured to get here. I ran three times in the past. The fourth time, God used technology to do it for me. The fifth time I ran (February 23, 2019), I went to all the states of the federation. The turnout of crowds was overwhelming.

“Truly, the people know and understand my mission. This is what the votes showed. The administration will dwell on our campaign issues – security, economy and corruption. We will fight for the poor.”

Stressing the importance of agriculture, he promised to appoint a minister who is knowledgeable in the sector.

“I will appoint a minister who knows agriculture and its role in providing jobs and growing our economy. You have seen how we broke the fertiliser jinx in the country. We will do more to better the lots of our farmers. Agriculture is our strength,” he added.

A leader of the delegation, Yusuf Bello Mai’ Aduwa, thanked Nigerians for giving the President a second mandate to lead the country for another four years, stressing that he will not let the country down.

Mohammed Saleh, another community leader, said the communities under the Daura Emirate were grateful to the President for signing a bill to establish a Federal Polytechnic in Daura, after they had complained that the area needed a tertiary institution to encourage the youtht to pursue higher education.

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