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Tinubu approves 150-day duty-free window for importation of maize, rice, wheat
President Bola Tinubu signing a document.
Agriculture

Tinubu approves 150-day duty-free window for importation of maize, rice, wheat

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The federal government has approved a 150-day duty-free window to allow the importation of maize, husked brown rice and wheat as part of measures to combat rising food inflation in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari disclosed this in a press statement as part of the implementation of the Presidential Accelerated and Stabilisation Advancement Plan (ASAP).

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According to the report, the federal government hopes to quell the food security problem in the next 180 days through the granting of 150days import window for certain food commodities, while the federal government will import 250,000 metric tonnes of wheat and maize to fill the depleted strategic grain reserve.

Furthermore, the federal government will engage stakeholders to get a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) for commodities, ramp up production especially among small holder farmers in the 2024/2025 farming season, promotion of production of fortified food commodities and others.

It stated, “The EMT has been meeting day and night working out the best modalities to achieve the best results for Nigerians. 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:”

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  1. “A 150-Day Duty Free Import Window for Food Commodities
  2. suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders)
  3. these commodities include Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat and Cowpeas
  4. under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).
  • 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.
  • Engage relevant stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) and mop up surplus assorted food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve.
  • Continuous ramp-up production for the 2024/2025 farming cycle.”

The Minister of Agriculture also noted that the Ministry in the next 14days will collaborate Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit and the Economic Management Team (EMT) to finalise the implementation frame work for the policy initiatives.

The approval to grant food imports contrasts the Presidency’s earlier position on food import where it stated that Nigeria should grow what it eats stating it has the potential to feed itself and export.

Nairametrics earlier reported that the federal government is looking into temporary importation of food items to stem the rising tide of food prices in the country.

Nigeria is battling one of the worst food crises in a generation as food inflation in May 2024 crossed 40%. Data from the NBS reveals that staple food prices like rice, maize, wheat, bread, beans and others have risen by over 100% on average in the last one year.

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Projections of international development organisations like the World Bank, FAO, World Food Program (WFP) and others states that around 32 million Nigerians will face severe hunger in 2024 over the current food crisis.

Nairametrics


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