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EXCLUSIVE: Import duty waiver not for entire medical, pharmaceutical sectors

EXCLUSIVE: Import duty waiver not for entire medical, pharmaceutical sectors
May 05
19:27 2020

The import duty waiver approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for medical supplies will only be applicable to items needed in treating COVID-19 patients, TheCable understands.

Speaking at a citizen’s dialogue session on the government’s response to the fall in oil prices and COVID-19 pandemic, Zainab Ahmed, the minister for finance, budget and national planning, had said that the president had approved an import duty waiver for medical equipment and supplies.

She said the president approved the waiver on April 28 and it came into effect on May 1, 2020.

TheCable however gathered that the waiver would be reviewed on a case by case basis and be in place for an initial period of six months.


“The president’s approval is in line with the indicative help recommended by the World Customs Organisation in conjunction with the World Health Organisation,” a government source told TheCable on Tuesday.

TheCable also gathered that the Nigeria Customs Service would be required to provide a report on a quarterly basis on the importation details of supplies that enjoyed the waiver.

The report would be submitted to the government through the ministries of trade and industry, finance, budget and national planning and health


“This is for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating of fiscal policy measures,” the source told TheCable.

“It is not as if there is a blanket waiver on all pharmaceutical supplies. It will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If COVID-19 suddenly stops, you cannot continue to foot the bill.”

The waiver is said to apply to COVID-19 test kits and apparatus, protective garments including gloves and masks, needles, intubation kits, bandages and gauze amongst other supplies.



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