OrderPaperToday – The Senate has asked the Federal Government to suspend the reduced tariff placed on imported goods, based on the call for diversification.

Senator Sabo Mohammed (APC, Jigawa) drew the attention of his colleagues to this incident on Wednesday.

He observed that there is an urgent need to facilitate this especially for goods like powdered milk, adding that the government is only interested in importing finished products instead of establishing ventures.

The lawmaker also revealed that $1.5billion worth of goods are imported into the country annually, stating that the amount can be channelled into fortifying industries within the country.

Senator Mohammed said: “Instead of the Federal Government to assist local producers by increasing [the] tariff on imported goods and protecting local industries, it is now killing the local industries by reducing the import duty on powdered milk from the 10 to 5%.

“This makes it impossible for the local dairy to compete. Protecting local production is the only way to achieve self-sufficiency as obtained in other countries.”

He also accused the government of “killing” these local industries by allowing multinational organisations operating in Nigeria to lobby government officials.

He cited a period in 2017 when the “Minister of Agriculture unveiled plans by the Federal Government to reduce the importation of powdered milk by 2019, only for the government to make a turn around and encourage importation by reducing [the] tariff on imported powered milk.”

The red chamber accordingly adopted the motion and “mandated the committees on Agriculture, Finance and Customs to invite the relevant MDAs to investigate and provide a lasting solution.”

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