FG Suspends Food Imports Duty, Partners States on Farming

The Federal Government, on Monday, announced a 150-day duty-free import window for food commodities as it stepped up efforts to tackle rising inflation, which had impoverished many Nigerians.

The government also expressed its decision to collaborate with states to expand land cultivation across the country.

Consequently, the government suspended duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities through land and sea borders.

 Among other things, the latest directive is expected to reduce demand for forex by food importers.

In 2023, Nigerians spent $2.13bn to import food items from foreign countries.

The quarterly statistics of the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that the country exported large amounts of food from foreign countries despite being touted as the food basket of Africa.

The high food import bill is a concern for the government. The country has a large agricultural sector, and there have been efforts to boost local production to reduce the dependence on food imports.

However, factors such as inadequate infrastructure, insecurity, and climate change have hindered progress in the sector.

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