• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Customs import duty rate rises 2.9% as naira weakens

With the depreciation of the naira against the dollar in both the official and parallel markets, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) again increased the exchange rate for calculating Customs import duty by 2.9 percent on Monday.

According to information obtained from the official trade portal of the Nigeria Customs Service, the rate was reviewed upwards from N1, 493.23/$ to N1, 537.073/$ on Monday morning.

The review by the apex bank represents a 2.9 percent rise in the customs duty rate and an increase of N43.843 compared to the old exchange of N1, 493.23/$.

Today’s review is the highest rate the nation’s port industry is witnessing since the Central Bank introduced FX reforms in June 2023 to stabilise the foreign exchange rates.

It is also coming three days after the House of Representatives directed the apex bank to maintain the exchange rate for Customs and excise duties at below N1,000/$.

BusinessDay checks show that the new rate was reviewed upward in line with the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market of the CBN, which stands at N1,537.573/$ as of Monday morning, February 19, 2024, in line with the plans of the Customs management to align Customs import duty rate with the official FX rate.

Reacting to this, Obi Nwabunwanne, a Lagos-based importer said the frequent adjustment in import duty rate shows the Federal Government wants to depend on taxing of import trade to generate more revenues.

According to him, business activities have slowed and the ports are beginning to dry up.

He predicted that businesses would be stretched to a breaking point until some started dying and many people would be forced out of jobs.