Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has recommended import duty of five per cent and levy waiver to Sonia Foods, a company owned by one of his relatives, Nnamdi Nnodebe, to import tomato concentrate for the next two years.
Total News24 gathered that the move by Emefiele was against the tomato sector policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Buhari had in 2017 through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment banned the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate and increased the tariff on importation of tomato concentrate among others from five to 50 per cent in order to revive the tomato sector.
According to operators, the value of imported tomato paste in Nigeria was about $170m and $50m spent on triple tomato concentrate.
“Increase in the tariff of the tomato concentrate and other concentrates (HS Code 2002.90.11.000) from five per cent to 50 per cent and additional levy of $1,500 per metric tons with the objective of increasing the current tariff from five per cent to 50 per cent (35 per cent +5 per cent+10 per cent) and an additional levy of US$1,500 metric ton. Restriction on the importation of tomato concentrates to the seaports to address abuse of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation scheme (ETLS) and inclusion of tomato production and processing in the list of industries eligible for investment incentives administered by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC),” documents seen by pressmen.