FG introduces 150-day duty-free import window for food commodities

Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari.

The Federal Government has announced several measures including a 150-day duty-free import window for food commodities in a new move to address the increasing cost of food prices.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, who made the announcement in a post on his X handle on Wednesday, said the measures introduced will be implemented over the next 180 days.

According to the Minister, this will involve the suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities through land and sea borders.

These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas.

Noting that imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP), the Minister said, “We understand concerns about the quality of these imports, especially regarding their genetic composition. The government assures that all standards will be maintained to ensure the safety and quality of food items for consumption.”

He also disclosed that the Federal Government will import 250,000 metric tons of wheat and 250,000 metric tons of maize.

These semi-processed commodities, Kyari added, will be supplied to small-scale processors and millers across the country.

Other measures to be implemented by the government include engagement with relevant stakeholders to set a GMP and purchase surplus food commodities to restock the National Strategic Food Reserve, renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee and enhancement of Nutrition Security.

Kyari stated that the ministry will, in close collaboration with the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT), convene with respective agencies to finalize the implementation frameworks over the next 14 days.

He added that the success of these measures hinges on the cooperation and collaboration of all relevant MDAs and stakeholders.

“As our nation confronts this critical food security challenge, I reiterate President Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to achieving food security and ensuring that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry.

“My team and I will work swiftly and diligently to actualize these crucial policies, ensuring food security for everyone in the immediate term while continuing our strategies for long-term interventions to address underlying causes and ensure sustainable and resilient food systems in Nigeria.”