The Federal Government says it spends about N568.5bn annually on the importation of milk and dairy products.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, disclosed this on Wednesday during the national dairy policy stakeholders’ engagement, in Abuja.
The minister said the long neglect of the livestock sector had put a lot of burden on the import bills of the country.
Nanono said Nigeria’s milk production accounted for only 13 per cent of West African production and 0.01 per cent of global dairy output.
He said, “About $5bn (N1.89tn at the official exchange rate of N379/$) worth of food is imported yearly into the country out of which milk and dairy products account for $1.2bn to $1.5bn.
“Hence, the annual dairy consumption is met by 60 per cent imports and 40 per cent local production.”
He said, “The gap between supply and demand for dairy products is widening as a result of increase in population and urbanisation.
“The per capita consumption of milk is eight litres per year representing very low consumption levels when compared with the global averages of 44 litres of milk.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Development Finance, Anthony Ifechukwu, said the bank was working to see the emergence of a private sector driven dairy sector in Nigeria.
The Deputy Director, Agro-allied and Gender Head at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Achilam Fidel, said reports showed that Nigeria had a cattle stock of over 20 million cows.