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CBN slashes Customs FX duty rate by 2.9% as naira appreciates

Bank directors urge CBN to scale recapitalisation with int’l exposure

As the naira further strengthened to N1,300.43 to a dollar at the NAFEM market on March 27, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has, once again, slashed the FX rate for computing Customs duties at the nation’s seaports by 2.9 percent.

Information obtained from the official trade portal of the Nigeria Customs Service revealed that the Customs FX duty rate was reviewed downward from N1, 405.466/$ to N1,364.879/$ on Thursday, March 28.

The reduction in rate represents about 2.9 percent when compared to the old rate of N1,364.879/$ used for opening of Form M as of Wednesday, March 28, and a decrease of N40.587 on a dollar needed to clear goods from the port.

With the new rate, importers opening Form M today Thursday, March 28 for importation will have some measures of relief in terms of the money required to pay import duties compared to the importer who opened Form M on Wednesday, March 27.

This is in line with the apex bank’s new directive that Customs should be using the rate on the date of submitting Form M for calculating import duties.

Ijeoma Ezeasor, secretary general of the National Shippers Association of Nigeria, criticised the apex bank for liberalising the forex market as it allows for the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates for payment of Customs duty.

She said the fluctuation has set Nigerian shippers in a state of confusion because it’s now difficult for shippers to make plans.

She said the warehouses of manufacturers are filled up because Nigerians do not have the purchasing power to buy locally manufactured goods due to the hike in prices of goods.

Ezeasor said shippers are recording losses and they are also facing the challenges of not being able to raise money to pay their creditors abroad after selling their goods.