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President Tinubu To Temporarily Halt Import Duties On Food, Drugs

President Tinubu may temporarily suspend import duties on food, drugs, and other essentials for six months to combat inflation…

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President Tinubu To Temporarily Halt Import Duties On Food, Drugs
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Tinubu may temporarily suspend import duties on food, drugs, and other essentials for six months to combat inflation, according to an executive order draft.

The Federal Government of Nigeria is planning to temporarily suspend import duties on essential items like staple foods and drugs for six months to curb inflation, according to The PUNCH.

An Executive Order titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measures) Order 2024,” set to be signed by the President, outlines this plan. The order will also waive levies on fertilizers, poultry feed, flour, and grains.

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria will be tasked with creating a plan to offer low-interest loans to the agriculture, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing sectors. The document states,

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“The import duty and other tariffs are to be suspended on the following for six months: Staple food items; Raw materials and other direct inputs used for manufacturing; Inputs for agriculture production including fertilizers, seedlings, and chemicals; Pharmaceutical products; Poultry feeds, flour, and grains.”

The President is also likely to suspend Value-Added Tax (VAT) on items such as Automotive Gas Oil, basic food items, semi-processed staple foods like noodles and pasta, raw-material inputs for food manufacture, electricity, public transportation, agricultural inputs, and pharmaceutical products for the rest of the year.

Additionally, the executive order will suspend various taxes and levies for six months, including road haulage tax, fees on bicycles, trucks, canoes, wheelbarrows, carts, business premises registration, taxes on shops, kiosks, markets, animal trade, and produce sales tax.

The government’s Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP) report also suggests importing paddy rice and maize to combat food inflation. The report recommends suspending import duty and VAT on these items and pegging the import duty exchange rate.

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However, this proposed plan seems to conflict with President Tinubu’s earlier stance on food imports. Earlier this year, he stated his administration would not allow food imports but would focus on turning scarcity into abundance through local production and economic diversification.

“Fertilizers are being supplied to farmers as we speak. Agriculture and economic diversification provide the answers to our problems. We will not continue to import food. We know how to turn lack into abundance, and the world will watch us do it again,’’ Tinubu said.

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