In an attempt to boost the production of Nigerian-made goods, the federal government has increased import duties on some imported food items that have local alternatives such as rice, salt and sugarcane, alcoholic spirit, beverages.
This comes just few days after it was announced that the payment of N5,000 stipend to the poor promised by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari had commenced.
Following the increase in import duties, there might be a rise in the prices of some consumable goods until the demand for them is met locally.
Below is a list of the goods which will be attracting increased duties:
-Import duty for sugar cane and salt will go from 10 per cent to 70 per cent;
-Alcoholic spirit, beverages and tobacco from 20 per cent to 60 per cent
-Rice from 10 per cent to 60 per cent.
-Packaged cement, from 10 per cent to 50 per cent
-Cotton/ fabrics materials, from 35 per cent to 45 per cent
– Yachts and other luxury automobiles has been increased from 20% to 70%.
-Used cars popular known as Tokunbo, from 10 per cent to 35 per cent.
-Medicaments such as anti-malarials and antibiotics; crude palm oil; wheat flour; tomatoes paste; and cassava products are also affected in the upward review of import duties.
However, essential industrial sector accessories, including bolt, industrial oil and other equipment are to enjoy a downward review to spur local industrialisation.
According to the Finance Minister, President Buhari has already approved the new tariff regime.The circular reads in part:
“This is to confirm that Mr. President has approved the 2016 fiscal policy measures made up of the Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM) for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015 – 2019 with effect from 17th October, 2016.”Consequently, all transactions prior to the effective date of this circular shall be subjected to the tariff rates applicable before the coming into effect of this 2016 fiscal policy measures.”
It added that the approved SPM was in line with the provision of the ECOWAS CET comprising the following:
“An Import Adjustment Tax (IAT) list with additional taxes on 173 tariff lines of the extant ECOWAS CET; national list consisting of items with reduced import duty rates to promote and encourage development in critical sectors of the economy; an import prohibition list (Trade), applicable only to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.”
Adeosun made it clear that the present fiscal policy measures superseded those of 2015, and advised the customs and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance.