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Document On Suspension Of Import Duties On Food, Drugs Not Official – Presidency

The Presidency has labeled as ‘unofficial’ the circulating documents suggesting plans to suspend import duties on food and drugs, asserting that these documents are mere proposals and not official government policy.

In response to widespread discussions stemming from two fiscal policy documents, the Presidency clarified that neither document had been officially endorsed. 

These documents, purported to outline significant economic measures, included provisions for a N5.4 trillion petrol subsidy for 2024 and a six-month suspension of import duties on essential items like food and drugs. 

These measures were purportedly aimed at alleviating economic hardships for the Nigerian populace.

However, in a Thursday statement, Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, emphasized that one of the documents, titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure, etc) Order 2024,” was only at the proposal stage and not an executive order signed by President Bola Tinubu.

 Onanuga further clarified that the second document, a 65-page draft titled “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP),” was a preliminary draft received by the President earlier in the week.

“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

They are all policy proposals that are still subject to review at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it,” Onanuga’s statement read.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, was also quoted in the statement, explaining the iterative nature of policy-making, which involves multiple drafts and discussions before finalization. 

Edun assured the public that the official stance on these documents would be communicated once comprehensive reviews and approvals were complete.

The controversy arose from reports citing the “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measures) Order 2024,” which was allegedly signed in April but did not bear President Tinubu’s signature.

 This document reportedly included plans to waive levies on essential goods such as fertilizers, poultry feed, flour, and grains.

Nigeria has been grappling with soaring food prices, with food inflation reaching 40.5 percent in recent months. 

The price of staple foods, particularly rice, has seen a significant surge, with a bag of rice selling for around N90,000 in March and April this year.

 

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