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Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2019

Senate wants 35% import duty on soap, noodles reversed

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

Senate has appealed to the federal government to reverse the 35% import duty on the importation of soap noodles to save the industry in particular and Nigeria’s economy in general.
This was sequel to a motion, “Urgent need to review the Import Duty of Soap Noodles”, sponsored by Senator Barau I. Jibrin ( APC Kano North) and co-sponsored by four other lawmakers.
Jibrin, while leading debate on the motion, informed that the federal government in order to boost local production of soap noodles increase its import duty to 35% from 10%.
He noted that “the increase in import duty made it unprofitable for the manufacturers of soaps to import Soap Noodles from overseas”.
This, the lawmaker explained has “made the manufacturers to resort to making huge investment in setting up manufacturing lines to produce Soap Noodles in Nigeria to the tune of about N420 billion while creating 250, 000 jobs in the country”.
Jibrin further informed that the federal government made a downward review of the import duty from 35% to 10%.
He however, warned that “this downward review will lead to massive importation of Soap Noodles into the country thereby having negative impact on the national economy.
Specifically, the lawmaker said the review would lead to the reduction in governments revenue drive; collapse of the soap noodles industry and its attendant unemployment; and serves as impediments of government efforts towards developing local sourcing and self-sufficiency.
Jibrin also stated that it would acts as discouraging signals to investors; and putting pressure on the forex reserve and hence the stability of the Naira.
“The negative impacts of the policy on our economy that has just emerged from recession and the expected huge job losses if this policy is sustained will further destroy, degrade and imperil the chances of our economy for sustainable stability”, he added.
All senators, who contributed to the debate, described the upward review of import duty on the soap noodles was counterproductive to the nation’s economy and sought a comprehensive review on import duties on all goods that could be manufactured in the country.

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