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CBN orders release of 50,000 MT of maize to Obasanjo farms, Olam, 10 others

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monday said it has approved the release of 50,000 metric tonnes of maize to 12 major producers from strategic maize reserve under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

The regulatory bank said in a statement that the release of maize to the companies, which is the third of such exercise, will reduce the price of grain in the market by checking the activities of middlemen who are hoarding the product and causing artificial scarcity.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its bid to moderate and control the prices of maize in the Nigerian market, has approved the release of 50,000 metric tonnes of maize to 12 major producers, from strategic maize reserve under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“The release of maize to the companies, which is the third of such releases, is also intended to check the activities of middlemen aimed at causing hoarding the product and causing artificial scarcity,” the bank said in the statement signed by its spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi.

Nwanisobi said the move would crash the price of maize, reduce pressure on the market, and make the product directly available to feed producers, thereby reducing the price of poultry feed in the country.

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He added that as part of its financing framework, the bank would continue to fund maize farmers and processors through its various initiatives.

“As part of the Bank’s financing framework, Nwanisobi said the CBN would continue to facilitate the funding of maize farmers and processors through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Commodity Association, Private/Prime Anchors, State Governments, Maize Aggregation Scheme, and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme.”

On his part, the National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria Bello Abubakar urged middlemen to desist from leveraging the supply gap to hike the price of the grains.

He also assured that farmers in Nigeria would maintain reasonable pricing of the products.

The listed recipients of the grains include Premier Flour Mills, Crown-Olam, Grand Cereals, Animal Care, Amobyn Hybrid Feeds, Obasanjo Farms, Zartech, Wacot, Sayeed Farms, Pandagri Novum and Premium Farms.

It would be recalled that the CBN, in a bid to address the rising cost of food prices in the Nigerian market collaborated with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria to distribute 27,000 metric tonnes of rice paddies directly to millers nationwide, earlier this month.

The regulatory bank last year placed a restriction on foreign exchange allocations for the importations of maize into the country.

The development had led to shortage of the commodity in the market, pushed up price of feed for poultry farms across the country with the prices of eggs and chicken skyrocketed across the country.

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