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Naira Devaluation Pushes Up Vehicles Duties By 40%

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The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Customs Service have taken the ongoing foreign exchange reforms to the maritime sector with a 40 percent increase in the exchange rate used for calculating import duty.

The NCS on Saturday raised the exchange rate used for the calculation of import duty from N422.30/dollar to N589/dollar.

The development, which has led to a corresponding 40 percent increase in import duty on imported cargoes including vehicles, has angered operators in the maritime sector with clearing agents, freight forwarders, and importers calling for an immediate reversal of the policy.

The development came barely one month after the Federal Government removed the fuel subsidy and floated the naira. It also came at a time Discos began a gradual increase of their tariff.

The National Public Relations Officer, NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, who confirmed the new exchange rate on its portal, said the agency was only implementing a CBN policy.

He said, “Whatever you see in our system is what has been communicated to us. It is determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria. So whatever we are using is what is obtainable as communicated to us. It is a monetary policy, we only implement what is given to us. It is a monetary policy and anything monetary is not determined by us, it is determined by the CBN. We only use what is communicated to us.”

Also confirming the development, the Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, at Tin Can Island, Remilekun Sikiru, said that the new rate had been effected on the Customs portal.

Also speaking, the Founder of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Lucky Amiwero, said, “The moment you allow the naira to float freely in terms of exchange, that is what you get. And it is going to affect the prices of goods. It is going to take a lot of licensed Customs agents out of work because most of them are going to lose their customers.”

The Vice President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nnadi Ugochukwu, while remarking, said, “It will affect businesses, there is a container I have for someone, before now, we used to clear that container for N4.3m. With the new exchange rate, the clearing cost is now N6.5m.”

This came barely a few weeks after President Bola Tinubu promised to unify the nation’s multiple exchange rates and less than a week before the suspension and detention of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, whose unorthodox monetary policies had become a stumbling block to investors and the economy.

The CBN’s decision to float the currency was hailed by the organized private sector and economists who said the move would unify the country’s multiple exchange rates and bring sanitize the FX market.

 


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