Miyetti Allah rejects CBN’s restriction of forex on milk importation
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has opposed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) proposed plan to restrict allocation of foreign exchange (forex) for importation of milk into the country.
It insisted that the policy does not align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
It also argued that any policy that does not place its partnership with domestic and foreign stakeholders like the fodder and pasture specialists at the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) or dairy processors from Europe and cross breeding specialists from Brazil, among other partners, was doomed to fail.
The group maintained that CBN’s discussion with dairy processors was a non-starter, as any policy plan that does not carry along the pastoralists, farmers, processors, bankers, ranchers, technical workers, extension service providers, geneticists and other stakeholders risked failure.
A statement issued by National Secretary MACBAN, Othman Ngelzarma, pointed out that CBN’s proposal for dairy processors to access loans at nine per cent interest rate for developing at least 10,000 hectares of land within a grazing reserve in Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Kano, Oyo, Kaduna and Niger states was also disastrous.
He maintained that it was important that in the spirit of partnership and transparent dialogue with which the NLTP was developed be allowed to thrive, while secret coerced, backroom deals struck based on threats should be abandoned, as it could not resolve the challenges.
Ngelzarm said the NLTP was an integrated plan meant to holistically resolve the historic challenges of pastoralists as it modernises the industry through handholding cattle breeders and allows ranches to develop organically with pastoralists as core participants in livestock production, which would ultimately create wealth.
He added that the NLTP clearly outlined the necessary steps needed to transform the livestock sub sector for over 10 years in line with the desires and aspirations of stakeholders and also have government regulations and incentives for all partners in the transformation process to achieve peaceful coexistence between farmers and herdsmen.
The MACBAN scribe however urged the CBN to reverse the policy and take a productive role that does not undermine the work done on the NLTP, adding: “In as much as we appreciate the infusion of capital into the livestock sub-sector, it must occur in the right strategic, stakeholder and cluster development context as provided in the NLTP framework.