Food Price Hike: Tinubu Sanctions Large-Scale Duty-Free Import of Rice, Wheat, Beans, others

By Omowumi Omotosho



President Bola Tinubu has sanctioned the duty-free importation of essential food items such as rice, beans, and wheat to mitigate the impact of soaring food prices that Nigerians have faced since his tenure began last year.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, it was announced that these measures would be “rolled out over the next 180 days.”

Onanuga, citing Agriculture Minister Abba Kyari, stated that President Tinubu has approved a “150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities,” which includes “Maize, Husked Brown Rice, Wheat, and Cowpeas”

Nigerian have been struggling with high food prices since the president announced the removal of petrol subsidies last year and the decision to float the naira, allowing its value to be determined by market forces.

These policies have led to a significant rise in the cost of basic foods, with the price of a 50kg bag of rice jumping from around N20,000 to about N70,000 in just a year.

While many Nigerians have urged the president to permit large-scale food importation to alleviate the surge in food prices, others have expressed concerns that this move could negatively impact local food production.

Mr. Onanuga’s statement further mentioned that the government will not only allow the private sector duty-free importation for 150 days but will also “import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize.” These semi-processed food commodities will be directed towards small-scale processors and millers across the country.

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