The Federal Ministry of Finance on Friday said it had not increased the import duty on food items and other luxury goods.
The ministry in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Salisu Dambatta, said that contrary to some media reports that tariffs on such items have been increased, the government had no such plans at this critical period.
It said rather than increasing import duties, what the government did was to reduce most of the items based on the Fiscal Policy Measures for 2016.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance has been drawn to recent publications in the media regarding the 2016 Fiscal Policy Measures to the effect that the Federal Government has raised import duties on food items and luxury goods.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to categorically state that the correct position is that the 2016 FPM did not involve any upward review of tariff on the affected food items and luxury goods.
“On the contrary, tariffs for those items remain at their 2015 levels, while duties for some other items were actually reduced.
“A comparison of the 2015 Fiscal Policy Measures Circular dated 20th March, 2015 and the 2016 Fiscal Policy Measures dated 29th November, 2016 will affirm this position.
“With regard to the 20 per cent duty on pharmaceutical products in the 2016 Fiscal Policy Measures, it should be noted that pharmaceutical products were already in the import prohibition list.
“This is in support of government’s intention to give further encouragement and desirable protection to local manufacturers of pharmaceutical products and ensure that those who, despite the prohibition, import such products under special permission, pay the required duties.”