Prices of imported goods to rise as CBN raises Customs duty rate by 2.6% — from N1444.56/$1 to N1,481.482/$1—, 5th time in 2024

Misery of Nigerian importers have continued to worsen as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Wednesday, readjusted the Customs exchange rate from N1444.56/$1 to N1,481.482/$1.

According to information gathered, the exchange rate was reviewed upward by N36.922 that is, 2.56 per cent against the last increment, in the early hours of Wednesday, 14th February, 2024. Also, the adjustment will be the 5th in 12 days and 9th since the beginning of the administration of President Bola Tinubu in May 2023.

Marítime experts have, however, argued that with the upward review, Nigerians will pay more to clear their goods at the port because import duties are benchmarked against the dollar. LEADERSHIP newspaper reports that earlier in June 24, 2023, the CBN adjusted the exchange rate from N422.30/$ to N589/$, and on July 6, 2023, it was adjusted to N770.88/$, on November 14, 2023, it was adjusted to N783.174/$, in December it was adjusted to N951.941/$.

Also, on February 2 it was moved to N1, 356.883/$ and on February 3, it was raised to N1, 413.62/$, on Saturday, February 10, it was changed to N1,417.635/$, on Monday February 11, it was to N1,444.56/$1 and currently, Wednesday, February 14, the CBN adjusted the exchange rate to N1481.482/$1.

Speaking, the chief executive officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, said the upward adjustment will further worsen the challenges of importers by increasing the cost of import and reduction in trade. “We have enough problems with the exchange rate. Now we are having additional burden of import duty hike because it is like increasing import duty across board maybe by another 15 per cent or more that is what it is,” Yusuf, a former director general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said

According to him, the new duty exchange rate will fuel inflation, profit margin and so many other things, saying the increase in import duty for imports is not an appropriate thing for the government to do now. Reacting, former chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Bisiriyu Lasisi Fanu, said the hike in Customs duty through high FX rates will affect all goods in the market because every commodity in the market has imported input in them. Fanu said the frequency at which the CBN is adjusting the exchange rate has become worrisome, which is why there is so much overtime cargo at the port.

“CN can’t change the rate and expect the importer who has made his calculation on what the landing cost and profit will be based on the previous exchange rate to survive. How do you expect the importer to generate the difference immediately to clear the goods from the port? It is not possible,” Fanu said.


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