Thursday, 18 July, 2024

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Inflation: FG suspends tariff, taxes to allow import of food items for 150 days


To ameliorate inflation, the Federal Government has announced the suspension of tariff, duties and taxes for 150 days to allow free importation of maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas through land and sea borders.

The government also disclosed that it would also import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, stated this yesterday, during the implementation of the Presidential Accelerated and Stabilisation Advancement Plan, in Abuja.

Kyari pointed out that the Government’s position exemplified standards that would not compromise the safety of the food items for consumption.

According to him, the imported food commodities in their semi processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.

He said: “To ameliorate food inflation in the country caused by affordability and exacerbated by availability, the government has taken a raft of measures to be implemented over the next 180 days:

“A 150-Day Duty Free Import Window for Food Commodities; suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders)

“These commodities include Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat and Cowpeas
c.underthis arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am aware that some good citizens might be concerned of the quality of the would be imported food commodities as it relates to the trending worries around genetic composition of food).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by private sector, Federal Government will import 250,000MT of Wheat and 250,000MT of Maize.

“The imported food commodities in their semi processed state will target
supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

Also, the minister stated that stakeholders would be engaged to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP)and mop up surplus assorted food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve.

Furthermore, he said there would be Continuous ramp-up of production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle, sustain support to smallholder farmers in the ongoing wet season farming through existing government initiatives, and strengthen and accelerate dry season Farming across the country.

He said there was cause for alarm as the government would “embark on aggressive agricultural mechanization and development to reduce drudgery, drive down the cost of production and boost productivity;

“Collaborate with Sub-National to identify irrigable lands and increase land under cultivation; Work closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, to rehabilitate and maintain irrigation facilities under river basin authorities across the federation;

“Develop strategic engagement for youth and women across the federation for immediate greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and pepper to increase production volume, stabilize prices, and address food shortages;

“Fast-track ongoing engagements with the Nigerian Military to rapidly cultivate arable lands under the Defence Farms Scheme, while encouraging other Para-Military establishments to put
secured available arable lands to cultivate.”

Moving forward, he said the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee would be
inaugurated on soon, to develop and implement policies that prioritize
livestock development and ensure alignment with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

He stressed that part of the deal would be to enhance nutrition security through the promotion of production of fortified food commodities and to offer necessary support to scale up the Home Garden Initiative by the Office of The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Credit: The Sun

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