Nigeria is arguably the largest importer of dairy products in Africa. Available statistics shows that up to 98% of the total dairy products consumed in the country are imported; and that about 75% of the entire dairy market is controlled by FrieslandCampina WAMCO (FCW). The purpose of this study is to examine the basis for the prevailing import orientation in the dairy industry since 1973. Is the orientation traceable to operations of multinational companies or the institutional and governance challenges in the country? Using triangulated data collected from FCW official reports and other relevant sources, and a content analytical technique, the study finds that the problem in the industry is multifaceted. Central to the challenges are persistent institutional and infrastructural defects, as well as faulty integration designs adopted by FCW. Based on this, the paper recommends that reversing the current trend requires government’s policies that dis-incentivizes importation. However, such policies can work only when the right atmosphere for cattle farming and local dairy production is put in place.