The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released 50,000 metric tonnes of maize into the Nigerian market.
A statement from the central bank on Wednesday said the development was in fulfilment of its pledge to reduce the price of the commodity.
It added that the initiative was done through its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to major poultry feed producers and poultry producers.
“The CBN facilitated the release of the 50,000 metric tonnes of maize in the second week of February has made an impact as the maize market has recorded a reduction in price from N200, 000 per metric tonnes to about N180,000 per metric tonnes. It is still anticipated that the current will further reduce,” it stated.
It listed major beneficiaries of the February release to include: Premier Flour Mills, Crown – Olam, Grand Cereals, Animal Care, Amobyn and Hybrid Feeds.
Others are: Zartech, Wacot, Sayeed Farms, Pandagri Novum and Premium Farms as well as the South-west, South-south, North-west and North Central chapters of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).
“The benefiting companies represent the major players in the poultry value chain in the country.
“The release of the 50,000 metric tonnes of maize forestall the pressure and reduce the activities of intermediaries (middlemen) in the Nigerian Maize market,” it added.
The CBN had in January, announced a plan to release 300,000 metric tonnes of maize into the market.
This was to bridge the shortfall in production and augment local production of the commodity.
The current shortfall in the quantity of maize available in the market that CBN is working on mitigating was attributed to banditry, drought in some parts of the country last year, hoarding and insecurity around the major maize producing belt of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and part of Kano states.
As part of the bank’s financing framework, the CBN facilitates the funding of maize farmers and processors through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) Commodity Association, Private/Prime Anchors, State Governments, Maize Aggregation Scheme (MAS), and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).
Also speaking on AriseExchange, a programme monitored on Arise News Channel Wednesday, CBN’s Director of Monetary Policy, Dr. Hassan Mahmud, clarified that there was no plan to ban foreign investors from the OMO auction market.
According to him, a CBN circular that was released in 2018 on the matter still subsists, saying foreign investors are still allowed in the market.
He pointed out that forex from foreign investors remains a supplement for capital inflows for the CBN.
“The explanation I gave was as a result of the assurance given by the CBN Governor that any investor that wants to take out his fund on maturity, there is the assurance that they can get their fund. That was the assurance that I re-emphasised.
“The CBN Governor has said it severally that investors can get their funds whenever they want to exit. I, however, mentioned that in a period of crisis, this would have to be done in a systematic manner.
“It would not be done in a day. I also mentioned even the backlogs were being cleared and subsequent build-ups would also be cleared over the period. That was my explanation. There was no referral that the Bank would bar foreign investors,” he clarified.