Presidency denies plan to remove import duties on food, drugs

The presidency has distanced itself from documents making the rounds that it was planning to suspend import duties on food and drugs.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the special adviser to the president on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga.

The presidential aide explained that although one of the document which was being shared as if it were an executive order signed by President Bola Tinubu, was still at the proposal stage.

He added that the other document, a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), containing suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy, is also still in the draft stage, and was just received by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday, June 4.

“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are all policy proposals that are still subject to review at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it” Onanuga said.

Onanuga quoted the Minister of Finance Wale Edun when he said “It is important to understand that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised,” assuring the public that the official position on the documents will be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed.

The document was also said to have included plans to waive levies on fertilisers, poultry feed, flour, and grains.

Food prices have surged in Nigeria with food inflation reaching 40.5 per cent in recent months, according to the Nat Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

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