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Food import duties, banks’ profit to fund agric sector in new senate bill

Food import duties, banks’ profit to fund agric sector in new senate bill
March 24
16:08 2021

The senate has passed a bill for an act to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund to finance the agric sector.

The bill, sponsored Abdullahi Adamu, senator representing Nasarawa west, would provide sustainable funding for agricultural development in Nigeria.

It was passed at Wednesday’s plenary session after the red chamber considered the report of its committee on agriculture and rural development.

Section 11 of the bill states that the agric fund will be set up with a take-off grant from the federal government in addition to other sources including levy on imported food items as well as profit of commercial banks in the country.

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It lists the sources to include: “0.5% of the Natural Resources Development Fund; 5% of profit after tax of each commercial bank in Nigeria; 5% of the Petroleum Profit Tax; 50% of the duty levied on imported rice, wheat, sugar and milk (and could include Fruits, Poultry, Fish).”

Most of the senators spoke of how such fund will be used to provide longterm sources of financing for farmers in Nigeria.

In his lead debate, Adamu said the proposed law seeks to establish how the funds will also be used to enhance agricultural development in the country.

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“The bill is apt as it comes at a time when the federal government is making effort to diversify the economy,” he said.

“When passed into law, it will create employment for our teeming youths. The senate will be taking the right step to stimulate the growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy through the agricultural sector.”

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