FG suspends taxes on imported food items


.Imported food items like maize, wheat, others to enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window

In a move to stem the rise in prices of food items, the Federal Government, on Monday, announced the suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes on some food items imported through land and sea borders.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, made this known during a press briefing at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari disclosed that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice, and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

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The minister stated that the government has been working tirelessly to address the food inflation crisis, which has seen prices skyrocket to unprecedented levels.

Kyari, therefore, assured Nigerians that the government is committed to achieving food security and ensuring that no citizen goes to bed hungry.

He said: “The Federal Government has announced 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.

“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“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 the private sector, the 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.”

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

He said the government will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to set a guaranteed minimum price (GMP) and mop up surplus assorted food commodities to restock the national strategic food reserve.

Kyari added that the government will continue to increase production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle.

“The Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 9th July 2024 with a view to develop and implement policies that prioritise livestock development and ensure alignment with the National Livestock Transformation Plan,” he said.

“Enhancement of Nutrition Security through: the promotion of production of fortified food commodities and offer necessary support to scale up the Home Garden Initiative by the Office of The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He said over the next 14 days, in close collaboration with the presidential food systems coordinating unit (PFSCU) and the EMT, “we will convene with the respective Agencies to finalize the implementation frameworks”.

“We will ensure that information is publicly available to facilitate the participation of all relevant stakeholders across the country. The PFSCU will manage a dashboard for Mr. President, providing him with direct visibility into these interventions and ensuring accountability,” the minister added.

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