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  • Updated: December 05, 2020

Dangote Says Naira Devaluation Won't Affect Despite Food Fortification Cost

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Olalekan Fakoyejo
Olalekan Fakoyejo

Fakoyejo Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ)....

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Aliko Dangote said the devaluation of naira won't affect the plan for food fortification set by food industry leaders. Dangote said his company is taking on the cost of fortification, which is $0.15 per person annually in developing countries like Nigeria.

Food fortification is the addition of nutrients to food at higher levels than what the original food provides. Dangote said the cost of the food fortification is not passed on to customers, so the food industry is absorbing the cost.

Taking on the financial cost of adding extra nutrients to food will limit the impact of devaluation on the consumers and not affect the industry's target "regardless of the dollar exchange rate because as we speak, we are actually doing the fortification — not making the consumers pay.

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“It is not part of our cost, we take it as a service and we are not charging for fortification. It will not affect our target. But the naira will be stable as we go along; I don’t think the naira will go more than where it is today.”

He made this known during the 3rd Annual Nigeria Food Processing and Leadership Forum. The event also had Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in attendance.

CBN Devaluation Of Naira

AllNews had reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) devalued the naira by N6 to dollar last week. It was gathered that foreign exchange rates were adjusted, with International Money Transfer Service Operators (IMTOs) directed to sell dollar to banks at N388 to dollar, higher than previous rate of N382 to dollar.

Banks were informed to sell dollar to CBN at N389 to dollar, as against previous rate of N383 to dollar, CBN to sell dollar to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators at N390 to dollar, as against previous rate of N384 to dollar. The BDCs are directed to sale a dollar to end-users at N392, against previous rate of N386 to dollar.

Pandemic Didn't Stop Food Fortification Despite Cost Burden

Dangote said the pandemic didn't prevent his company from continuing with the food fortification, but food distribution had challenges at the start of the pandemic, “The issue is that the pandemic did not stop us from distributing food items; if you look at it, during the lockdown, government allowed some food items to be distributed. Essential commodities.

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“We did not stop fortifying food items. But you know there is what you call the RUTF [ready-to-use therapeutic food], which we as Dangote Foundation are launching and we are going to spend a lot of money [on].

“On a corporate level, I can assure you that food items are all over the place; even during the pandemic, we supplied. Yes, we have had challenges at the beginning because most of the states were closing their borders,” he added.

“Mind you, we had warehouses all over the place and those warehouses were able to feed most of the states before they started opening the borders. For now, we are doing very well, food items are moving freely.”

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Olalekan Fakoyejo
Olalekan Fakoyejo

Fakoyejo Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ)....

More From this Author

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