Senate to engage Minister on import duty hike 


By Omotilewa Quadri 

Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday directed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Finance and Customs to meet with the Ministry of Finance to look into ways of reviewing an alleged plans to increase the import duty on certain items. 

After a point of order raised by Senator Sabo Muhammed on the issue, Saraki further directed the committees to invite all relevant Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Stakeholders in the industry to investigate and provide a lasting solution to the issue of increase of tariffs on importation.

“This issue is critical, the somersault on some of these policies and the inconsistencies therein need to be addressed. 

“The key issue here when we are talking about Agriculture is that we must ensure that we create an enabling environment for operators in the sector.

”When I was the Chairman of a Technical Committee on this, and we were trying to increase the tariffs from 10 percent to 15 percent, we noticed that it comes as a shock to many businesses, so instead of us going up, we are going down.

”So, please, Chairman Agriculture, Chairman Finance, sit down with the Ministry of Finance — they must suspend this policy. We cannot continue to say that we are supporting agriculture, yet be doing this that are affecting the sector,” he said.

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