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HomeNationalDocument On Suspension Of Import Duties On Food, Drugs Not Official –...

Document On Suspension Of Import Duties On Food, Drugs Not Official – Presidency

The Presidency has described as ‘unofficial’ documents doing the rounds, that it was planning to yank off import duties on food and drugs.

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The response came on the heels of two fiscal policy documents being wildly quoted to have been from the presidency, that it was making a provision for an N5.4trn petrol subsidy for 2024, and that it would stop importers from paying duties on staple food items, drugs, and other essential items for an initial period of six months, as a measure to cushion the effects of the economic hardship on the masses.

But a Thursday statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, explained that although one of the documents titled, Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure, etc) Order 2024, was being shared as if it were an executive order signed by President Bola Tinubu, it was still at the proposal stage.

He added that the other document, a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), containing suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy, is also still in the draft stage, and was just received by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday.

“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are all policy proposals that are still subject to review at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it” the statement added.

Onanuga quoted the Minister of Finance Wale Edun when he said “It is important to understand that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised,” assuring the public that the official position on the documents will be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed.

The report (not on Channels Television) which quoted one of the two documents, “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measures) Order 2024,” expected to have been signed in April, did not include the signature of President Tinubu,

The document was also said to have included plans to waive levies on fertilisers, poultry feed, flour, and grains.

Food prices have surged in Nigeria with food inflation reaching 40.5 per cent in recent months.

A staple food, rice has been one of the hardest hit in the last year. Its prices have reached new highs, selling at around N90,000 per bag in March and April this year.

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