The Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that from January to September 2021, the Federal Government has spent $1.68bn on food importation.
In the report on sectoral utilization of foreign exchange for the third quarter of 2021, the apex bank said Nigeria could produce enough to feed its citizens.
During the Bankers’ Committee retreat in Lagos recently, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the government was ensuring the diversification of the economy.
Emefiele said, “We believe that Nigeria can feed itself; Nigeria can produce what to eat. Everything needs to be done for us to move away from a situation where everything is imported.
“We need to get to a stage where we bring our manufacturing industries back to life again. For us to say that there is sustainable, inclusive growth in the country, we, as banks, working with government must do everything possible to diversify the Nigerian economy.
“We have to do everything possible to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. We will do everything possible to reduce the rate of poverty in our country.”
According to the CBN, the government spent $163.60m, $197.73m, and $171.05m in January, February and March, respectively, while $156.30m, $135.72m and $213.58m were spent in April May and June, respectively.
The report revealed that $184.69m, 188.88m and 271.59m were spent in July, August and September, respectively.
According to Emefiele, if the country is able to diversify the economy, reduce unemployment and poverty, the level of insecurity in the country will reduce.
Emefiele said the banks had done a lot to support the economy and would still do more to catalyze the economy for growth.
He said the banks would increase credit to the economy.