The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday announced it has approved six dairy companies operating in the country for the importation of milk products and its derivatives.
The CBN made this known in a circular issued by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, in Abuja .
The bank listed the successful companies to include FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, Chi Limited, TG Arla Dairy Products Limited, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Nestle Nigeria Plc (MSK only) and Integrated Dairies Limited.
The bank explained that the development was in line with its objective to increase and improve local production of milk, its derivatives and other dairy products in Nigeria.
According to the circular which has already taken effect, all Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives by authorised dealers will only be allowed for the above listed companies.
Form ‘M’ is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into Nigeria.
It is therefore mandatory for all importers to complete and register Form ‘M’ with Authorised Dealers at the time of placing orders to determine whether the transaction is valid for foreign exchange or not.
The apex bank therefore advised importers not on the list of companies cited in the circular to cancel all established Forms ‘M’ for the importation of milk and its derivatives for which shipment had not taken place.
Giving further insight on the intent of the circular, the CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, explained that the bank engaged the six companies because they had shown sufficient willingness and ability to deliver on the Federal Government mandate as well as support its efforts to develop the nation’s dairy industry.
He also explained that the six listed companies had leveraged the CBN’s backward integration programme to enhance their capacity and improve local milk production.
Okoroafor said the regulator’s objective in the sector was to increase milk production in the country from the current figure of 500,000 metric tonnes to about 550,000 metric tonnes within the next 12 months.
In addition to facilitating easier access to funding for dairy investors, he said it was the bank’s desire to ensure that the country conserved foreign exchange, trigger economic growth and boost employment opportunities in the sector.