The Central Bank of Nigeria’s forex restrictions on 41 items including rice may have started to bring benefits.
Testament to the success of the CBN policy is the groaning of Nigeria’s major rice exporters, Thailand’s farmers over a huge shortfall in the value and quantity of rice being imported to Nigeria from Thailand.
The Thai Rice Farmers Association released figures detailing the countries they are in partnership with, quantity of rice exported to the countries, measurement of increments or decrements in the quantity purchased of these countries and their gains and losses. With Nigeria previously being one of their best customers, a 90% decrease in the amount of rice imported into Nigeria was baffling for them.
Admirably, this means that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s restriction of forex on rice worked wonders, helped to develop the small and medium scale enterprises(SMEs) in Nigeria and most importantly helped to encourage the growth and harvest of local rice and of course, the farmers.
Rice farmers in Nigeria, predominantly Northerners travelled to last year’s Hajj with their monies without the help of the government which signals a massive growth in the local industry and is a plus for the federal government’s efforts of diversifying the economy with agriculture, a strong sector in the diversification.
With restrictions on forex on rice bringing the projected results, it is believed that the Central Bank and the federal government will intensify efforts to make other sectors work too by promoting the local industries helping the average Nigerian a direct benefactor of government policies, making local business grow better and help in the promotion of SMEs.
Recall that several states of the federation have intensified efforts to steer the local production of rice after the restrictions were laid with Lagos State selling its Lake Rice at cut-prices while Ogun State also began the productions and distributions of its Ofada rice at cheaper rates.
These in addition with the efforts of the federal government and Northern states will help the growth of rice production and reduce importations to a very inconsequential level, hence, make Thai rice farmers groan the more.