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Nigeria reduce tariff on imported rice

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The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on
Wednesday said the Federal Government was contemplating a
downward review of tariff on importation of rice.
Okonjo-Iweala, who disclosed this while answering questions at
the ‘Budget 2014 Jam’, in Abuja said the drop in the tariff would
reduce smuggling of the commodity into the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Budget 2014 Jam is a
youth online programme where the minister answers questions on
the Federal Government’s 2014 budget from youths across the
nation.
The three-day programme, which began on Tuesday is organised by
the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with IBM Technology, a
telecommunication firm.
The minister said the existing 110 per cent duty on the importation of
rice was encouraging smuggling of the commodity into the country.
“We increased the tariff to 110 per cent, and it encouraged some
people to go and grow rice and we grew 1.1 million metric tonnes of
the product.
“But it also encouraged smuggling from neighbouring countries
because they immediately dropped their own tariffs to 10 per cent,”
she said.
She added that the rice issue was similar to tariff on importation of
used vehicles, saying “we are watching it now to see what the
appropriate tariff to be paid on it will be.’’
The minister added, “For rice, we decided to bring it down because
we see that it is not working.’’
Okonjo-Iweala explained that the government had decided to
encourage the automobile industry to ensure that vehicles were
manufactured in the country.

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