The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, says Nigeria imports over $580 million cassava by-products annually.
“The facility will help in reducing our reliance on imports of cassava by-products, which serves as a key input in the production of food items in several factories. Nigeria imports over $580 million worth of cassava by-products annually,” Mr Emefiele stated this on Thursday at the launch of Rivers Cassava Processing Company in Afam, designed to support improved production and processing of cassava into high-quality flour.
He said the CBN remained committed to working with state governments in supporting smallholder farmers and processors across various commodities such as cassava, palm oil, and fisheries.
He commended the efforts of the Rivers government, working with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, the Dutch Embassy Investment Nigeria Ltd., and their technical partners, in setting up the integrated facility.
According to him, the cassava processing facility will support the CBN’s mandate to promote Nigeria’s economic growth.
Mr Emefiele added, “The cassava processing facility will also provide farmers with a verifiable platform to access finance from the CBN and other financial institutions through our Anchor Borrowers Programme.
“With the capacity to process over 45,000 tons of cassava, this facility will provide high-quality cassava flour for households, industries, and bakeries.”
He noted that the developmental finance initiatives at the CBN were focused on creating an enabling environment that would drive both public and private sectors’ participation in the real sector of the economy.
The CBN governor revealed that Rivers had already accessed over N13 billion from CBN’s various intervention programmes, and that their loan status remained in good standing.