Nigeria Economic Miseries Worsen As CBN Raises Customs’ Exchange Rate by 2.56%

KOREDE FOGO
Inflation and cost of living will continue to soar in Nigeria as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Wednesday, raised exchange rate for clearance of cargoes at the port by 2.56 percent.
The exchange rate was increased from N1444.56/$1 in Monday, 12th February, 2024 to N1,481.482/$1, on Wednesday, 14th February, 2024.
According to information gathered, the exchange rate was reviewed upward by N36.922 and the adjustment will be the 5th in 12 days and 9th since the beginning of the administration of President Bola Tinubu in May 2023.
Marítime experts have, however, argued that with the upward review, Nigerians will pay more to clear their goods at the port because import duties are benchmarked against the dollar.
Earlier in June 24, 2023, the CBN adjusted the exchange rate from N422.30/$ 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.
However, licensed customs agents are planning to stage a peace protest over the frequent upward adjustment of the exchange rate for cargo clearance.
The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Emenike Nwokeoji,  on Monday, disclosed that the group had scheduled a meeting with the relevant government authorities between Monday and Tuesday next week.
Nwokeoji said  though the association had not taken any decision on the protest, individuals have the right to protest.
“As individuals, they have the right to protest whatever that is not going down well with them but as an association, we have not taken such a decision.
“We have written to the authorities concerned and we have a meeting in Abuja next week on Monday and Tuesday on the same issue.
“It is after that meeting that we will decide on the next line of action. We are watching the development,” he asserted
Also, the Vice President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Ugochukwu Nnadi, said, “If protests are being organised we would be part of it for the interest of everybody. We can’t just continue like this. We would engage the authority and when they fail to listen we can now protest.”
The National Public Relations Officer of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Fatobilola, said the agents had started engaging importers to key into the planned protest.
“The peaceful protest we are talking about was supposed to be from the importers and not the agents. You can’t talk of protest when your importers are not giving you backup. So, we are trying to liaise with them to see their own reaction,” he stated.
He added that the association was engaging the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to ensure they were on the same page on the planned protest.
“It is not only the union, we have to unify. We are engaging the importers already on that. The exchange rate does not concern NCS because they are only implementing the directive of the Federal Government.
 “Out of the five registered associations, if three can come together and agree that there would be a protest then we will hold it. Individually, you can’t go on protest and one single association can’t go on protest. We have to be united before we can go for a peaceful protest,” Fatobilola explained.

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