Food crisis: Hope rises as FG initiates tariff-free importation of rice, maize, others

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There is hope that the snarling food crisis Nigerians are experiencing will abate as the  Federal Government has announced the suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Although it says it will last for five months, many Nigerians hope succour will return to the polity through the decision.

So tough has the food situation become that common staple like rice, garri and elubo have had their prices jumped out of the roof.

The apprehension is worsened by the fact that there do not seem to be any major policy or programme suggesting the inflation would soon be arrested.

But in response to this on Monday, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar 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.

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.”

Kyari also said the federal government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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