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Tinubu Approves Massive, Duty-Free Importation Of Rice, Wheat, Beans, Others

ABUJA, FCT, NIGERIA – In his bid to address the rising costs of food items in the country, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the duty-free importation of major food items like rice, beans and wheat, to cushion the impact of the high food prices Nigerians have been grappling with since he assumed office last year.

According to a statement credited to Mr. Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson to President Tinubu, the measures will be “implemented over the next 180 days.”

Onanuga, quoting Agriculture Minister Abba Kyari, said President Tinubu approved a “150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities”, including “Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat and Cowpeas.”

Recall, Nigerians have been battling with high cost of food prices since the President announced the removal of petrol subsidies last year and also floated the naira so the value of the Nigeiran currency can be determined by market forces.

The policies led to a huge increase in the prices of basic foods, with 50kg of rice increasing in price from about N20,000 to about N70,000 in a year.

Many Nigerians had called on President Tinubu to allow massive food importation to cushion the rise in food prices but others argued against it, saying it would affect the local production of such goods.

In his statement, Onanuga stated further that not only will the government now allow duty-free import for the private sector for 150 days, 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.”

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