The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has said that milk worth $1.2 billion is being imported into the country annually.
Mr Ogbeh disclosed this at the 2019 National Animal Production Research Institute, NAPRI, and commissioning projects at the institute in Shika Zaria, Kaduna State.
Recall that the federal government had been making efforts to improve the livestock industry in order to increase dairy production.
According to Mr Ogbeh “Nigeria spends $1.2 billion points a year to import milk and milk product a situation that needs to reverse in order to effectively combat malnutrition in children and also earn foreign exchange for the country.
The Minister stated that malnutrition affects not just the physical development of the children but their mental development which, according to him, will end up having an adverse effect on the future of the country.
Mr Ogbeh reiterated the importance of milk consumption in children adding that NAPRI has a huge role to play in achieving this feat.
“We have to give children milk and my dream is that someday every Nigerian child will have a pint of milk a day probably re-enforced by cocoa and then we can say we are feeding our children well because they are the ones who will replace us.
“So, how can we emphasize the importance of NAPRI? We can’t, that is why we are working hand in hand with them”, Mr Ogbeh said.