FG bans foreigners from buying farm produce directly from farmers


  • Approves issuance of quality assurance certificates for ICT projects above N1bn

Federal Government has approved the immediate ban of foreigners from buying farm produce directly from Nigerian farmers.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, took the decisive position on Wednesday in Abuja.

Foreigners will now have to go through licensed local buying agents to do business with the farmers.

The move by the government is a deliberate step to prevent farmers from being cheated by foreigners who buy the farm produce from them .

Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, who briefed the media on the approval by council, said he presented two memos before FEC, one of which was the promotion of agribusiness in Nigeria through right farm gate pricing and ban on foreigners and their representatives from purchasing agricultural commodities at the farm gates.

He said that FEC approved the establishment of an appropriate mechanism that would not only protect the indigenous farmers in terms of achieving the right prices for their goods and commodities, but also ensure that they have the appropriate incentives and the needed encouragement to guarantee their continued participation in the farming business.

According to him, over the years, foreigners have been going to the farm gates to buy produce from the farmers at low prices, thus discouraging the farmers from continuing with their trade.

He said: “we finally got approval from FEC today for only licensed local buying agents who must be registered by the relevant national commodity associations, they are the ones who now will be able to buy goods directly from the farmers and sell to the foreigners.

“This way, the farmers will no longer be cheated by these foreigners who just throw money at them and are able to buy their goods”.

The Minister also disclosed that he presented another memo to FEC for the approval of Trade Policy Action Plan with the theme “Unleasing Nigeria’s Development Potentials through Trade and Investment”.

He said the Action Plan which was also approved by Council was formulated with a view to utilising trade as another means of generating revenue outside oil whose revenue is on the downward trend.

Adebayo said: “The whole idea is that because we’re not making as much money as we used to from sale of oil, and because of reduction in the money that comes from that aspect of Nigeria’s revenue generation, we want to utilize trade as a means of generating revenue for the country.

“So, the action plan aims to utilise the existing national trade policy to facilitate an effective use of international trade and investment as tools for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.

“So, we’ve got approval from Council today to engage with all the ministries, departments and agencies involved in trade and revenue generation, and also the organized private sector and civil society organisations to ensure a successful implementation of the trade policy action plan.

“One of the next steps that we will be taking now that we have this approval, is to inaugurate a committee which will look into the update of the existing trade policy, which was last updated in 2002. And also, we’ll be looking into coming up with an investment policy. And these two policies we believe should be ready before the end of this year”.

On his part, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said FEC okayed the introduction of another layer of quality assurance certificate in government digital services.

He explained that before now, all federal public institutions have been mandated by law and also by government policies, that before they embark on any information technology project, they must obtain IT Project Clearance to embark on it.

“There are so many benefits of that, this is provided for in NITDA Act 2007, Section 6, under Article A and the Federal Government has re-emphasized that through a circular on 31st August 2018. So many federal public institutions have been complying with this and the report is very commendable.

“We presented the report before the Federal Executive Council today. The report covers 1st of January, 2021 to 31st December ,2021. This is a copy of the report; IT Project Clearance Performance Report for Government Digital Services 2021.

“This report captures all the IT projects in the country, particularly towards our government digital services for the whole year. In that report, it is clearly mentioned that 282 major projects were submitted for clearance, out of this number 258 were cleared and 24 were rejected and the total amount submitted seeking for permission to implement the project was over N213 billion by many federal public institutions.

“Out of this, NITDA cleared around N154 billion and if you compute the amount submitted and the amount approved, you will discover that we are able to save more than N24 billion for the federal government of Nigeria. More than N24 billion, comparing the proposed amount and the approved amount for the implementation,” Pantami said.


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