The potent combination of 10 per cent import duty and 100 per cent levy on imported rice by the Federal Government has sent the prices of various brands of these staple of Nigerians of all classes racing to the skies.
From January 1, 2013, the Federal Government’s increment of levy on imported rice from 40 per cent to 100 per cent took effect.
The new Federal Government policy on rice importation came via a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) circular dated February 6, 2013, and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange, W.D. Gotring, which stated inter alia: “Husked brown rice, semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed will attract an import duty rate of 10 per cent plus a levy of 100 per cent.”
Therefore, the new 100 per cent levy, combined with the 10 per cent statutory duty on rice, translates into importers paying 110 per cent duty on the commodity.
Inevitably, the costs are transferred to consumers who are contending with ever-increasing hikes in the prices of rice.
Checks revealed that a 50-kg bag of rice sells, which, as at last December, sold for between N7,800.00 and N8,500.00, now goes for between N8,000.00 and N10,000.00, depending on the brand.
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