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April 17, 2024

Food Security: Expert Expresses Concern Over High Import Tariff on Agro-equipment 

Ahead of an Agro-equipment and technology expo, Mr. Don Ekesiobi, Chairman of Eurobase Consult Group, expressed concerns regarding high import tariffs on agricultural equipment. 

He warned that these tariffs could threaten the federal government’s food security agenda.

Ekesiobi urged the government to consider lowering import tariffs on agricultural equipment. This would facilitate easier access for Nigerian farmers and ultimately enhance food production nationwide.

He pointed out that Nigeria faces significantly higher import duties compared to other countries. He emphasized the need for immediate action to address this issue.

“Nigeria has the highest import duty or tariff on agricultural equipment in the world,” Ekesiobi said. “Given President’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security, I urge the government to remove import tariffs on agro-equipment, at least temporarily. This would significantly improve Nigeria’s chances of achieving food security.

“The federal government should also streamline the clearance process for this equipment. If high import tariffs remain in place, the objective of achieving food security will be difficult to realize.”

Ekesiobi elaborated on the high costs associated with clearing agricultural equipment. “Agro-equipment is bulky,” he explained. “Shipping three tractors in a single container now incurs N15 million in clearance fees. Just three years ago, this same process cost N3 million. With such high costs after clearance, who will be able to afford this equipment?”

“To achieve food security in Nigeria, the government should immediately implement zero import duty on agricultural equipment. The sooner this happens, the better it will be for everyone,” he concluded.

Ekesiobi also announced Eurobase Consult Limited’s partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. This collaboration aims to bring foreign partners to Nigeria to replicate successful agribusiness models.

“We are the local partner/country representative for 20 international agro Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from various countries including Israel, India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Holland,” he said. “Through this association, our company has become an agro-equipment conglomerate or a one-stop shop for all agricultural equipment and farm technology.

“With the goal of boosting sustainable agricultural production and food security, we have carefully selected 10 of our foreign partners with proven global track records. These partners can significantly propel the development of Nigeria’s agricultural business sector.

“They have a history of successfully executing agricultural projects in various Western and Asian countries that are now self-sufficient in food production and even export large volumes of agricultural produce. We are bringing them to Nigeria to replicate the same multi-billion dollar agribusiness model here. We are partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to achieve this objective.”

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