The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has increased the Customs duties exchange rate for the third time in 2024.
As reported by Daily Post Nigeria, import duties have been reviewed upward to N1,417.63 per US dollar from N1,413.62. This move has sparked debates among experts and stakeholders in the Nigerian economy.
With the upward review, Nigerians will now have to pay more to clear their goods at the port, as import duties are benchmarked against the dollar.
This represents an increase of N4.015 and a percentage increase of 0.28 per cent, as the official exchange traded at N1,469.97 per US Dollar at the foreign market on Friday.
This is the third time in one week and the third time in 2024 that the current upward review of the exchange rate for calculating customs import duty has taken place.
This move is also the seventh time the apex bank has adjusted the exchange in eight months since President Tinubu’s administration commenced the floating naira policy, a reform aimed at stabilizing the forex market.
It is important to note that the Customs had previously adjusted the exchange rate on several occasions, including on June 24, 2023, when it was adjusted from N422.30/$ to N589/$, on July 6, 2023, when it was adjusted to N770.88/$, on November 14, 2023, when it was adjusted to N783.174/$, in December when it was adjusted to N951.941/$, on February 2 when it was moved to N1, 356.883/$, and on February 3, when it was raised to N1, 413.62/$.
Experts have warned that the continued hike in import duty portends a rise in the prices of imported goods and services in the country.
Former chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents at Seme Border, Bisiriyu Fanu, stated that 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.
Earlier, the Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Muda Yusuf, had also expressed concerns, stating that increased import duty would further impoverish Nigerians.
With the recent increase in Customs duties, it remains to be seen how the Nigerian economy will respond to this latest development.
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