By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
The federal government has given reasons why it reduced the import duties on imported vehicles.
Minister of finance, budget and national planning , Zainab Ahmed disclosed this yesterday to State House correspondents after the virtual federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa .
According to her, “The import duties were slashed to curb the galloping inflation. She further explained that food inflation is the largest contributor to inflation adding that the largest contributor to food inflation is the cost of transport.
“When you look at the components that constitute inflation in our country, the largest contributor is food, inflation. And food inflation also, if you decouple it, the largest contributor to food inflation is the cost of transport,” Ahmed said.
“We were now look at how do we reduce the cost of transport because we can’t give every Nigerian money in their pockets to pay for transport. We figured that one of the good ways to do it is to reduce the cost of acquisition of mass transit vehicles and tractors that are used for productive purposes like agriculture.
“So the reason why we reduced those duties is to reduce the cost of transportation. So once this implementation takes full effect, we’re hoping that we’ll be able to see more tractors coming into the country, more mass transit buses coming into the country, reducing the cost of transportation as a result, and also having an impact on food prices.”
She further explained that Nigeria’s exit from recession was the quickest in history despite the impact of COVID- 19.
“But also, the good story for us is that, with this positive growth in the fourth quarter it means Nigeria has exited recession.
“This is one of the shortest lived recessions we have witnessed in the country, despite the impact of the COVID-19, but I must say that the result of this exit is as a result of the fiscal policies, the monetary policies and the Economic Sustainability Plan that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been implementing,” she stated.