FG May Suspend Import Levy on Food, Others to Curb High Inflation

June 6, 2024
Raw Food Items
Image Source: Boldsky

By Adedapo Adesanya 

To combat the country’s surging inflation, the federal government plans to suspend import taxes on staple food items, pharmaceuticals, and other critical items for six months.

This was contained in an executive order titled The Inflation Reduction and Price Stability Order issued by the executive arm of government but yet to be signed by President Bola Tinubu.

The document also includes plans to waive levies on fertilizers, poultry feed, flour, and grains – core products in the agriculture value chain. 

The order, as outlined in the document, will mandate the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to devise a plan for offering low-interest loans to the agriculture, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing sectors. 

“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 fertilisers, seedlings, and chemicals; Pharmaceutical products; and Poultry feeds, flour and grains,” the document said.  

President Tinubu is also likely to suspend value-added tax (VAT) on automotive gas oil, some basic food items and semi-processed staple food items such as noodles and pasta, raw-material inputs for the manufacture of food items, electricity and public transportation, as well as agricultural inputs and produce and pharmaceutical products for the rest of the year. 

Nigeria is battling a 33.69 per cent inflation and despite efforts to tackle the continued surge in prices, none has been forthcoming.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Finance, Mr Wale Edun, also presented the Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan (ASAP) report aimed at tackling key economic challenges and stimulating development across various sectors in the country.

In it, the FG acknowledged the ongoing payment of fuel subsidies with continued support for downstream fuel consumption.

The document projects that “At current rates, expenditure on fuel subsidy is projected to reach N5.4trillion by the end of 2024. This compares unfavourably with N3.6 trillion in 2023 and N2.0 trillion in 2022.”

The executive summary of ASAP highlights the urgent need to mitigate the “difficult economic conditions threatening to unravel bold reforms undertaken by Mr. President.”

The plan identifies persistent high inflation, high interest rates, and volatile exchange rates as major issues disrupting economic activity and business operations.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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