MAN urges Ogbe to intervene in forex crisis

Agricultural sector investors, who are also members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, have called on the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, to midwife the reversal of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s forex policy that has affected crude palm oil importation.

The CBN had included crude palm oil on the ‘not valid for forex list’ and the manufacturers are lamenting that the policy poses serious constraint to the importation of one of their most important raw materials.

The MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, was in a statement on Wednesday, quoted as pleading that the forex be made available for genuine manufacturers that rely on crude palm oil as a major raw material for production of noodles, biscuits, and cosmetics, among other products.

According to him, the CBN forex policy is threatening the survival of several manufacturers that rely heavily on crude palm oil as a major raw material for production and may lead to job loss if the companies close shop.

Some of the affected companies, Jacobs said, had been involved in the country’s agricultural sector as part of the country’s backward integration programme, thereby creating more jobs and boosting beverage and cosmetic production, among others.

The MAN president commended government’s support for the local industry through the backward integration policy but warned that certain indices must be taken into consideration before the full implementation of such a policy.

He explained that while the policy was a welcome development, there should be no sudden obstruction to importation of the raw materials that are needed for local production, especially when the demand for such raw materials cannot be met locally.

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