Maize importation into Nigeria is a burning issue. On one hand, the internet is awash with junks of misleading information on the subject. Thus, leaving importers and investors to subjective interpretation of CBN directive. On the other hand, poultry feeds producers are having it rough. The CBN directive on maize importation into Nigeria is not an ordinary pronouncement to all who depend on maize. The issue is worst to the point that maize (corn seed) is raw material for multiple usage.
Hence, this article will clarify what exactly the CBN directive is for maize importation into Nigeria. Additionally, we will be suggesting some palliatives for maize users.
MAIZE IMPORTATION INTO NIGERIA; CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) DIRECTIVE
In a secular titled “TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/004” and with date July 13 2020, CBN directed as follows:
“Authorized dealers are hereby directed to discontinue the processing of ‘Form M‘ for the importation of maize/corn with immediate effect”
The summary of reasons for such directive by the apex bank of Nigeria is as follows:
- “As part of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase local production
- also, stimulate a rapid economic recovery
- safeguard rural livelihoods and increase jobs, which were lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”
MAIZE IMPORTATION INTO NIGERIA: OUTRIGHT BAN OR AMONG CBN 41 ITEMS NOT-VALID-FOR-FOREX?
Many online news agencies and bloggers have understood the directive given above to mean restriction for forex. Their understanding is based on a similar arrangement that restricts access to foreign currency for some products via the interbank trade. Goods such as textiles, rubber and its products, etc. were among the first 41 items listed by the CBN. Other commodities like milk and fertilizers have been added to the growing list.
The directive on maize importation into Nigeria is different. We must understand the directive for what it is – outright ban. Items in the 41 list (now 43) are not proscribed for importation by any regulatory agency in Nigeria. No directive to stop issuing Form M for 43 items restricted for foreign exchange.
WHO CAN IMPORT MAIZE (CORN) INTO NIGERIA?
The saying: “all fingers are not equal” is not mere hollow words in Nigeria. Quite all right, there is an outright ban in maize importation. The reasons given for ban on maize importation into Nigeria are noble. However, like it is said in the novel ‘Animal Farm’, ‘all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’ Hence, there are some ‘more equal’ companies authorized to import maize.
Further directive from CBN reads thus:
“I am directed to refer to the above subject matter. In line with government policy on food security, sufficiency and striking a balance between food security and local production capacity to meet anticipated shortfall, the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted approval to the under listed companies to import maize in the quantities stated below:
“Wacot limited 30,000 tons; Citi Bank
Wacot limited 30,000 tons; Titan Trust Bank
Chi Farms Limited 60,000 tons; Titan Trust Bank
Crown Flour Mills Limited 22,000 tons; Coronation Bank
Premier Feed Mills Limited 120,000 tons; Zenith Bank.
“Note: Approval is strictly for the companies listed above and stemmed to the months of August, September and October alone. Given the clarification, all CACs are directed to note the above companies, approved companies, duration and jerquer accordingly. Please be guided,”
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF DEPENDENT ON MAIZE?
As a responsible Customs Brokerage, company in Nigeria, Vagmon e-Grup & Logistics Ltd is law-abiding. Consequently, we advise you to obey rules and regulations in Nigeria. The following are some suggestions from our think-tank:
- Firstly, source for corn locally. Go to other parts of the country and buy in bits.
- Secondly, invest in maize production to contribute to the overall growth of local economy. Nigeria has one of the best soil composition for maize farming
- Write to the federal ministry of finance and the CBN, and seek to be included among company that is ‘more equal.’
- Lastly, avoid smuggling proscribed item into the country.
Certain goods are in the CBN not-valid-for-forex list in Nigeria. Commodities in the said list are not ban for importation. Following the direction given in our articles referenced above is a sure guide to successful importation of listed goods. The case of maize importation into Nigeria is different. Maize importers are not just restricted from accessing foreign currency from the formal market. Finally, corn seeds or maize is a case of do not import. We have the expertise to handle your cargo from origin to delivery at your warehouse. Therefore, contact us today and see who we are.