President Muhammadu Buhari has approved duty waiver for all imported medical supplies in Nigeria.
As pressure mounts at the ports, operators are focusing mainly on essential goods, such as medicals and foods.
Medical supplies make up over 40 percent of goods being released at the ports currently. With the duty waiver for such goods, Nigeria Customs Service revenue would dip by about 40 percent, further pushing the service away from its revenue target for the year.
Special Assistant to the President on Digital and New Media, ToluOgunlesi, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that the president had approved import duty waiver for medical equipment and supplies to “strengthen health infrastructure” in response to the coronavirus disease.
Ogunlesi tweeted, “President Buhari has approved a blanket waiver of import duties for medical equipment and supplies, as part of Nigeria’s efforts to strengthen health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Nigerian government had earlier listed fiscal policies it introduced to combat the economic implications of the pandemic. The measures included waiver of import duties for certain importations.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the government would engage other corporates to know what they want the most.
“We don’t want to go and say that we are reducing taxes for companies. What some of the companies, for example, the pharmaceutical industry, would want is fast track processes to bring in materials to produce more drugs.
“We’ll be giving them import duty waivers and support to airfreight their cargo because supply chains are broken across the world. There is a need to fast-track the import of materials needed to produce drugs within the country. So we must have those engagements to be more specific,” the minister said.
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