The Presidency has said that the suspension of taxes on importation of food commodities is not yet official.
On Monday, the presidential spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, released a statement that announced that President Bola Tinubu approved the duty-free importation of major food items like rice, beans, and wheat, as part of efforts to address rising food prices in the country.
Techeconomy reported on Monday that Mr Onanuga, in a statement quoting Agriculture Minister Abubakar Kyari and posted on his official X page, said the President approved a “150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities”.
He listed the food commodities to include “Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat, and Cowpeas” and that the proactive measures were to be “implemented over the next 180 days.”
However, Mr Onanuga’s post was eventually deleted a few minutes after it was published on his page.
It was gathered on Tuesday that the statement posted by the president’s aide was still being reviewed by relevant MDAs before it was leaked.
“The Agric minister did not hold any briefing yesterday. The statement was forwarded to Onanuga for a review but we are surprised that he posted it. It’s still being reviewed. There is nothing we can do about it. As you can see he has deleted the post,” A top official at the ministry, who asked not to be named since he was not authorized to speak on the matter,
Mr Onanuga was also quoted by TheCable as saying that “the measures are not yet official.”
Meanwhile, in the statement, he said not only will the government now allow duty-free import for the private sector for 150 days, but 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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