The Central Bank of Nigeria has said prices of maize will crash as it is set to release 300,000 metric tonnes of maize by next month.
The apex bank said this on Monday in a statement on Monday.
The CBN had in September 2020 secured a waiver for four firms to import maize into the country. This was after it added maize to the 41 items it banned from import to improve local production in July.
The CBN said, “The anticipated release follows moves made by the CBN, working with the Nigeria Customs Service, in the last quarter of 2020, to facilitate import waivers to four agro-processing companies to import 262,000 tonnes of maize to bridge the shortfall in production and augment local production.”
The National Bureau of Statistics in its recent inflation report had linked the rising inflation to the surge in the price of cereals of which maize is the second most consumed in the country.
But CBN said it aims at reducing the price of maize from the current cost of N155, 000 per metric tonne, through the release of about 300,000 metric tonnes from its strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The lender said, “With the release of 300,000 metric tonnes in February 2021, it is expected that the prices of maize in the Nigerian market will drop significantly, thereby increasing demand for the crop and ultimately enhancing the gains of maize farmers.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had late last year approved the release of 30,000 tonnes of maize from the National Strategic Grain Reserve to support the Poultry Association of Nigeria at a subsidized rate.
The National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria, Bello Abubakar, had blamed the shortage of maize on the rising rate of insurgency and the illicit activities of hoarders and middlemen who engage in hoarding of the grain.