A political support group, Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said “only mean people who do not care about the well-being of Nigeria, and Nigerians, would fault President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy template and direction following the policy statement on FOREX restriction for food imports.”
BMO said this while calling on Nigerians to totally support the President’s directives on the ban. They castigated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for their uninformed comments on the issue.
Moghalu had criticized the directive on the ground that, according to him, the President lacks the power to issue such directives because the CBN is the only body empowered to regulate banking and finance regulations. PDP on another hand had alleged that the directive was aimed at punishing Nigerians.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said , both commentaries were far off the mark and urged all well-meaning Nigerians to take the opportunities of President Buhari’s agricultural policies and create wealth for themselves.
“Policy experts have predicted that the restriction on food import – if faithfully implemented – will save Nigeria $20 billion yearly, which could be used to improve the infrastructure deficit of an estimated $100 billion.”
BMO recalled that the administration’s policy direction, like the 41-item-ban, saved the country $24 billion foreign exchange in 18 months and reduced the food import bill from $660 million per month to $150 million.
“In the last twenty-one years, Nigeria spent 40 trillion naira on food importation, this of course is scandalous, and so it is an area President Buhari had to pay attention to.
“Nigeria has a large population and vast arable land, which in fact represents 37.33% of the land area of about 923,763-kilometre square and is sufficient to produce a variety of staple food, beverages, and livestock on the Nigerian menu.
“It is also on record that President Buhari campaigned on four cardinal points which include food security and self-sufficiency in Agricultural produce.”
BMO wondered what moral right the PDP has to query President Buhari’s policy directions when the opposition party’s administration, from 1999 to 2015, earned 783 billion dollars, but the rail-tracks, roads, trains, power, education system were left in a dire state.
“There is so much to gain from the restriction of FOREX for food import. Local farmers, through CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme, will increase their yield to meet demand. Furthermore, many Nigerian youths will become gainfully employed along the value chain, and foreign direct investment will increase because of the size of the market demand”.
The pro-Buhari group called on Nigerians to shun the wailing of failed presidential aspirants who have had a shot in PDP’s 16 years of mal-administration, but never really made their mark.
“While the opposition may have no visible economic direction, President Muhammadu Buhari is driven by the Keynesian economic model which has helped in bringing Nigeria out of recession.
“Thanks to President Buhari, Nigeria is now on a trajectory of self-reliance and economic growth, triggered simply by the principles of demand and supply, and Nigerians should rally behind him.