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Tinubu Suspends Nigeria's Plastics Tax

FILE: A man walks on plastic waste, used to reclaim a swamp so that the land can be developed for housing, in the Mosafejo area of Lagos, Nigeria, Feb. 12, 2019. Recently-elected President Bola Tinubu has suspended Nigeria's recent 10% tax on many plastic items.

ABUJA — Nigeria's President, Bola Tinubu, has ordered the suspension of a newly introduced 10% tax on single-use plastics and excise duty on some locally manufactured products to reduce business costs in Africa's biggest economy, his spokesman said on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Dele Alake said Tinubu signed executive orders suspending a green tax on single-use plastics, including plastic containers and bottles, that was introduced in March.

"As a listening leader, the president issued these orders to ameliorate the negative impacts of the tax adjustments on businesses and chokehold on households across affected sectors," Alake told reporters.

Nigeria is one of the biggest plastic polluters on the continent, contributing some 2.5 million tons of plastic waste annually, some of which ends up in the sea, official data shows.

The orders also suspended implementation of a 5% telecoms tax first mooted by the previous government and stopped an increase in car import duty and excise duty on selected goods manufactured locally.

There would be no further tax rises without wider consultations, Alake said, adding that Tinubu would pursue business-friendly policies.

Tinubu, who took office in May, has embarked on Nigeria's boldest reform agenda in decades, including the removal of a popular petrol subsidy and restrictions on foreign exchange trading, as he seeks to boost sluggish growth.