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Monday, January 2, 2012

FG plans ban of imported cassava flour by March

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has concluded plans to ban the importation of cassava flour by March this year, even as it offers 12 per cent rebate for attaining 40 per cent blending for cassava break bakers.

Addressing recently the members of the joint National Assembly session in Abuja, the federal capital territory on the 2012 budget, President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this.

He said that the government is also introducing policies to encourage the substitution of high quality cassava flour for wheat flour in bread-baking.

Noting that wheat flour for bread-baking is usually imported into the country, but with the substitution, Nigeria would be saving huge sums of money, especially in the capital flight.

Bakeries, according to him, would have 18 months, that is, from March when the ‘cassava flour’ policy takes effect to make the transition and enjoy a corporate tax incentive of 12 per cent rebate if they attain 40 per cent blending.

“With effect from March 31st 2012, importation of cassava flour will be prohibited so as to further support this programme,” he said.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that as noted by him, all equipment for processing of high quality cassava flour and composite flour blending will enjoy a duty free regime as incentive to bakers for composite flour utilization.

Consultations, he said, is on-going with the sector to ensure a smooth transition.

“It is common wisdom that the best way we can grow our economy and create jobs for our people is for us to patronize Nigerian-made goods,” he said.

Jonathan said this is why his government is introducing enabling policies to drive this process. Hence, they are introducing fiscal policy measures that will encourage the purchase and utilization of locally produced commodities.

From July 1st 2012, he said, wheat flour will attract a levy of 65 per cent to bring the effective duty to 100 per cent, while wheat grain will attract a 15 per cent levy which will bring the effective duty to 20 per cent.

Equally, Mr. President revealed in his address made available to NaijaAgroNet that there will be a levy of 25 per cent on brown rice to bring it to 30 per cent and in addition, to encouraging domestic rice production, a levy of 40 per cent will be placed on imported polished rice leading to an effective duty rate of 50 per cent.

“Effective December 31st 2012, all rice millers should move towards domestic production and milling of rice, as the levy of 50 per cent will be further raised to 100 per cent,” he said, stressing that there will be no waivers or concessions for rice and wheat importation by end of this year, 2012.

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