NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has suspended duties, tariffs, and taxes on certain essential food items imported through land and sea borders in a significant effort to combat food inflation and bolster food security.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, revealed this development during a briefing on July 8 in Abuja.

The initiative, which includes a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window, targets key food commodities such as maize, wheat, husked brown rice, and cowpeas.

This move is a central part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, aiming to stabilize food prices and ensure economic stability across the country.

We have been working tirelessly to address the food inflation crisis, which has seen prices skyrocket to unprecedented levels,” “The federal government is committed to achieving food security and ensuring that no citizen goes to bed hungry,” Minister Kyari stated.

To prevent price gouging and ensure consumer affordability, imported food commodities under this arrangement will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP). The government also guarantees that safety standards will not be compromised, ensuring the imported food items are safe for consumption.

Beyond facilitating private sector imports, the Federal Government plans to import 250,000 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat and 250,000 MT of maize.

These semi-processed commodities will be distributed to small-scale processors and millers nationwide, supporting local food production and processing.

This initiative responds to the Nigerian populace’s outcry over the soaring prices of food staples such as rice and maize.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics disclosed that the average price of 1kg of local rice sold was N1,608.89 (US$1.03) in May 2024, representing a 189.79% increase from N555.18 (US$0.35) in May 2023 and a 14.98% rise from N1,399.34 (US$0.89) in April 2024.

Similarly, the average price of 1kg of Garri white rose by 200.12% annually from N371.42 (US$0.24) in May 2023 to N1,114.72 (US$0.71) in May 2024, with a 30.87% monthly increase.

This strategic suspension of import duties, tariffs, and taxes is expected to provide much-needed relief to Nigerians and contribute to the country’s long-term food security and economic stability.

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