For the fourth time in 7 days, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has adjusted the exchange rate for Customs clearance of cargoes at the nation’s seaports to N1,444.56/$1.
BUSINESSINSIDERNG reports that as at, Monday, 12th February, 2024, the exchange rate was moved to N1,444.56/$1 from N1,417.635/$ it was increased to on Saturday, 9th February, 2024.
It could be recalled that the CBN had on June 24, 2023, 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/$, in December it was adjusted to N951.941/$, on February 2 it was moved to N1, 356.883/$ and on February 3, it was raised to N1, 413.62/$, on Saturday, it changed to N1,417.635/$ before it was raised on Monday to N1,444.56/$1.
However, with the upward review, Nigerians will pay more to clear their goods at the port because import duties are benchmarked against the dollar.
It was gathered that the current upward review of the exchange rate for calculating Customs import duty is the fourth in one week and also in 2024.
It is also the ninth time the apex bank has adjusted exchange in the space of eight months since President Tinubu’s administration commenced the floating naira policy, a reform aimed at stabilising the forex market.
Reacting recently in an interview, Bisiriyu Lasisi Fanu, former chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents at Seme Border, 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.
“CBN 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.
He 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.