Abuja – A new tariff regime aimed at increasing local manufacturers capacity and boost investments in the industrial sector is underway, The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Olusegun Aganga, said.
Mrs Yemi Kolapo, the Special Assistance to the Minister on Corporate Communications, said in a statement that Aganga made the plan known on Thursday when he inaugurated a committee on the matter.
The statement said as part of efforts to achieve the goal, Aganga inaugurated a 12-member committee to work out appropriate tariffs to support the implementation of the country’s industrial policies.
The aim is to reposition the manufacturing sector and increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from its current four per cent to 10 per cent over the next four years.
The committee is chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Dauda Kigbu.
Other members of the committee are the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Chief Kola Jamodu, the executive secretaries of the National Sugar Development Council
Others are the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, the directors-general of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and National Automotive Council, among others.
Their terms of reference are to propose strategies and measures that will increase the capacity utilisation and contribution of the industrial sector to GDP in line with the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan.
The committee is also to propose tariffs for every sector under the purview of the ministry, identify major gaps between existing tariff regimes and the Common External Tariff regimes and propose solutions to smuggling.
The minister stressed the need to ensure that the right tariffs were proposed and implemented in order to move the nation’s manufacturing sector forward.
He said that members of the committee had been selected to serve on account of their relevance to the development of manufacturing in the country.
“They are expected to use their experience and skills to add value to the important work that they are called upon to perform as part of our ongoing efforts to reposition manufacturing in our country,” Aganga said.
He noted that the need to have a manufacturing-friendly tariff regime was borne out of the realisation of the fact that the growth and development of the sector depended , to a large extent, on the use of appropriate tariffs.(NAN)