To address the shortage of medical supplies during the fight against COVID-19, the Federal Government of Nigeria has approved a waiver of import duties on all medical equipment and supplies into the country.
The details: The waiver is expected to strengthen the health system in the country, and support the efforts of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control in combatting the pandemic.
This was announced by Tolu Ogunlesi, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital/New Media. He tweeted earlier today:
BREAKING | Minister of @FinMinNigeria: President @MBuhari has approved a blanket waiver of import duties for medical equipment and supplies, as part of @NigeriaGov’s efforts to strengthen health infrastructure in response to the #COVID19 pandemic.
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) May 5, 2020
To effect this immediately, President Muhammadu Buhari has also ordered the Nigerian Customs Service to fastrack the clearing of all medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals.
“In addition to the Import Waiver, President Buhari has directed the Nigerian Customs to implement expedited clearing of all imported healthcare equipment and medical and pharmaceutical supplies” the tweet read.
This waiver now joins the lists of other fiscal stimulus policies that the government has introduced to checkmate the economic implications of the pandemic. However, there was no mention of how long these waivers would last.
The backstory: It should be recalled that the Minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, had earlier mentioned that the government would not reduce taxes for any company importing essential medical supplies. Instead, the government would waive their import duties and support them to freight their cargoes, in view of the broken supply chain across the globe.