Nigerian Government backtracks on rice policy, may backtrack on vehicle policy

Bags of rice

Import duty on rice will be reviewed from the current 110 per cent.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday said the Federal Government has decided on a downward review of tariff on importation of rice.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who disclosed this while answering questions at the ‘Budget 2014 Jam’, in Abuja said that the drop in the tariff would reduce smuggling of the commodity into the country.

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 that the existing 110 per cent duty on the importation of rice was encouraging smuggling of the commodity into the country.

“We increased the tariff to110 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 by neighboring 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.’’

“For rice, we decided to bring it down because we see that it is not working,” she said.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala explained that the government had decided to encourage the automobile industry to ensure that vehicles were manufactured in the country.

She said that the government spent a lot of money on importation of cars, adding that such expenditure had to be halted to encourage indigenous production of vehicles.

“We have our own indigenous Innoson, who has been manufacturing cars. First, it started with assembling of the cars but now 50 per cent of his car parts are manufactured from scratch here in this country.

“And, we said that if we can do this, why can’t we invite other people to manufacture cars here and sell. For that, we are giving them some incentives to bring in some parts that they will need, free of duty.

“We are also increasing the tariff but that’s a very tricky area. We are watching it to see what the appropriate tariff should be,’’ she said.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala called on Nigerians to be patient with government as it was being cautious with the vehicle importation tariff, saying that the government would not want to record smuggling of vehicles as being done for rice.



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  • idn1

    Okonji-Iweala or whatever should ensure that her ministry and the entire government will start making use of IVM cars by INNOSON Nnewi. Enough of these voodoo economics.

  • Noble

    So because of Innonso or what do you call him, you will suffer 160million people. I guess you guy should focus on electricity and road network. Cars will take care of itself.

  • Truthometer

    2015 election is fast approaching. So, policies somersault has started in earnest for the purpose of deceiving the innocent Nigerians into voting for the evil party, PDP. Dumbo and his wrecking crew are about to take Nigerians for a long ride. But we are wiser now. Nigerians, vote for your conscience and your future. Dumbo and his party don’t mean well for the country.

  • Gideon Orkar

    More billions for Dangote through importation of rice and who cares about local rice farmers?

  • adesuwa1

    Grow more Innosons! Provide govt backed interest rates to serious coys who wish to manufacture here. Provide infrastructure for these coy. It’s not rocket science. We know the factors that contribute to the high cost of production, deal with those factors and make it attractive to produce here. It is possible. Stop putting the cart before the horse.

  • segun

    @disqus_sp1dQnF6PA:disqus that was well thought out.

  • Es3

    With the response of likely local assembly plants establishing companies and partnerships, that of the tariff on vehicle importation would likely hold!

  • osogbo

    Show us the 50 percent vehicles produced by innosson. Where is the foundries where engine blocks and pistons are molded. Where is the sheet metal foundries, the hard plastics and plugs. A country that can’t generate enough electricity to power a cell phone tower or see beyond its nose at night suddenly start producing automobiles, first they said 100% now it’s 50% soon it will be 5% . Even if, can that be done at economically viable cost without support infrastructures. Government failed at its own responsibilities , steady electricity , motorable roads, pipe borne water , pipe cooking gas, affordable homes, corrupt free judiciary, government NOT spending 95% of the country revenue on itself even though the finance minister OKONJO IWEALA was said to have economic education and experience. Not showing in the way the government is managing its finance. Senators paid 240 millions per quarter. PLEASE FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES. WE ARE NOT US ING YOUR MONEY TO IMPORT CARS . IF YOU DO YOUR JOB THE PRIVATE SECTOR WILL HAVE THE PLATFORM TO MANUFACTURE . OF WHAT USE IS CARS THAT COST 10 TIMES MORE THAN IT CAN BE IMPORTED BECAUSE THERE IS NO INFRASTRUCTURES. THIS IS ANOTHER RUSE TO INCREASE TARIFFS AND BURDEN THE PEOPLE. CUSTOM DUTIES IS THE SECOND HIGHEST SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THIS CORRUPT GOVERNMENT TO SPEND ON ITSELF NOT ORDINARY FOLKS. THEY SPENT 90 TO 95 PERCENT OF GOVERNMENT REVENUE RUN THE GOVERNMENT AND THEY WANT MORE , SOON IT WILL COST 10,000 NAIRA TO TRAVEL FROM LAGOS TO ABUJA.