The federal government has reduced import duties on more than 89 items in various sectors of the nation’s economy.
The government said the reduction, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, is to promote development in critical sectors of the economy and is part of its 2016 Fiscal Policy Measures.
A circular issued by the Ministry of Finance on Friday said the measures supersede the 2015 Fiscal Policy Measures.
According to the circular signed by the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, the directive was made up of the Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM) for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015 – 2019.
The minister explained that the ECOWAS CET, which will cover 2017 to 2019 fiscal periods, is composed of three categories made up of an Import Adjustment Tax list of 173 tariff lines, a national list consisting of 91 items and an import prohibition list of 25 items, which is applicable to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.
An analysis of the national list consisting of 91 items shows a downward review was approved for 89 items.
The items in the national list whose import duties were reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent are tea; milk and cream; tomatoes prepared or preserved by vinegar; under-natured ethyl alcohol for medical, pharmaceutical or scientific purpose; hypochlorites; synthetic organic colouring matter; grease for treatment of textile materials; prepared glues and adhesives.
Other products are organic composite solvents and thinners; mixes alkylbenzenes; industrial monocarboxylic fatty acids activated carbon fats of sheep or goat; malt extract; petroleum oils and oils obtained from bitumen minerals other than crude.
The federal government also approved a reduction from 10 per cent to five per cent for tubes, pipes, hoses, sheets, foil, tape, polyethylene, paper and paper board, yarn, synthetic staple fibres, semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel, stranded wire ropes, and completely knocked down or unassembled for the assembly industry.
For items such as automatic circuit breakers, switches, lamp-holders, electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, the government reduced their import duties from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.
Items like types of machinery and equipment used in sectors such as agriculture, cement, hospitality, power, iron and steel, solid minerals, textile and aviation, attracted an approval of a zero import duty.
The two line items that retained their 2015 duties are articles for the conveyance or packaging of goods, plastics, stoppers, lids, caps, and other closures; and other articles of plastics and other materials. The duty was placed at 10 percent, the same rate it was in the 2015 Fiscal Policy Measures.
It was earlier reported that the government also placed a ban on the importation of 25 other item.