Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, FCT Minister and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Industrialisation: CBN leads milk producers to FCT Minister

* Okays 6 dairy companies for milk importation

* Supports 3 firms to establish factories, boost economy, create jobs

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Consumers of milk and other dairy products may soon have the products readily available, as Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has led major milk producers and dairy products dealers to Mr. Mohammed Musa Bello, Honourable Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to firm up arrangements on how they could acquire parcels of land to set up new factories.

ConsumerConnect learnt that the move Monday, February 17, was in tune with CBN’s plans to ban importation of milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and other derivatives.

According to the Apex Bank, these dairy products currently gulp an annual import bill of $1.5billion.

Report says recently, the Bank cleared six companies, including FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria; Chi Limited; TG Arla Dairy Products Limited; Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Nestle Nigeria PLC (MSK only) and Integrated Dairies Limited to continue importing milk pending the time local production fully takes off in the country.

Emefiele, while on the visit, said the companies had operated in Nigeria for several decades and had shown sufficient willingness to invest in the nation’s economy to create jobs and help conserve foreign exchange spent on milk importation.

Emefiele said: “l am here to seek your intervention to fast-track the allocation of land with titles to three companies that have requested land to establish dairy processing plants in the FCT.

“These companies are WAMCO FrieslandCampina, Nestlé and L and Z. Nestle Plc and FrieslandCampina Plc have signified interest to establish milk processing factories in the FCT, and the CBN is ready to work with them to actualise the deliverable of these projects.”

With the private firms’ readiness to embrace the backward integration measures, boost job creation and industrialisation locally, the CBN Governor said the strategic partnership commenced with Niger State Government allocating 31,000 hectares of land to milk companies within the Bobi grazing Reserve.

The effort is aimed at developing the local dairy breeds for enhanced milk collection, and also integrating the local pastoralist towards curbing the farmers-herders crisis.

He said the resolve by some milk producing companies to establish milk processing factories in the FCT is hinged on Abuja’s unique environment for industrialisation and also easy access to raw materials from the entire North-Central zone of the country.

“The establishment of these companies in the FCT will drive industrialisation, stimulate local production of milk, and hence, development of the local dairy sector, boost employment generation, facilitate linkages along with the dairy sector in Nigeria, and ultimately, conserve enormous foreign exchange that would be required for importation,” Emefiele said.

FCT Minister Bello also said: “I assure you we will provide you the needed support. I personally will like to apologise to the three companies with respect to your desire to invest in the FCT, and it shouldn’t have taken this long.

“The land will be made available. Let’s meet and fine-tune and agree on location, and in the next three weeks we will identify what your needs are and its suitability on the master plan.

“Most of these lands are not accessible and CBN can help in funding for infrastructure like access roads.

“We have the engineers who can handle the logistics but funding is a challenge,” Bello stated.

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