Bio-OrganicSNutrient System LtdÂ (BNSL), an indigenous food and beverage fortifier manufacturing company, has proposed for an upward review of import duties on food fortifier products from the current 15 per cent to 35 percent.
The companyâ€™s Managing Director, Dr Kenn Acholonu, believes higher import tariffs would discourage importation , and also encourage local production to thrive, addingÂ that the current 15 per cent tariff was not adequate.
He said that higher import duties of about 35 per cent would help to reduce importation ofÂ premix, which he said, is as high as N100 billion annually.
â€œWe can not survive if we are not protected by a ban or high tariff of above 35 per cent.
â€œWith the huge importation of over 4, 000 tonnes of premix worth about N100 billion annually into the country, it will be difficult for food fortifiers to thrive in the country.
â€œBanning or enforcing high tariff on vitamins and minerals premixes is a first and necessary step to closing a gap in our industrial policy on premix and boost local production,â€ he said.
Acholonu said that the economic losses also constituted set_back to Nigeria and ECOWAS vision to be world class player in the manufacture of food products.
He said that the unbridled importation of the food products was generating employment opportunities in countries like China and Brazil while Nigerians were denied of such opportunities.
The manufacturer said that many countries were using vitamin and mineral products to achieve food security and empowering local manufacturers to compete at the international market.”