Rice importation into the country will continue until 2015 when the federal government plans a total ban, Minister of state for Finance Dr. Lawan Ngama has said.
The federal government grants billions of naira as waiver to rice importers every year.
Government documents recently obtained by Daily trust revealed that import waivers amounting to about N150 billion were granted to 10 companies, with one of them securing the duty write offs 164 times since February this year.
The minister said the move to ban importation of rice was part of government effort at improving local production.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s consultative forum for the review of Common External Tariff (CET) 2008-2012, Ngama said “government will continue to frown at importation of certain goods with the support of higher levies.
“Our main target is in the agricultural sector where the federal government is determined to ensure that we increase production of rice and other staple crops to reduce our dependency on others.”