According to information obtained from the Customs official website, the exchange rate for cargo clearing was adjusted from N1, 356.883/$ to N1,413.62/$ on Saturday.
BusinessDay understands that Customs adjusted the exchange rate on the instructions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it is expected to take immediate effect.
With the rate adjustment, importers will be expected to pay more to clear their goods at the port and it would have huge implications on the prices of imported goods already being pressured by surging inflation.
Also, the new rate has aligned with the current official exchange rate of naira to the dollar on the CBN official website, as announced by the Customs management.
Adewale Adeniyi, comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said early this year that the Service will use only the exchange rate on the official Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) window for clearing of imported goods and would not engage in arbitrary increase or decrease in the exchange rate.
Reacting to the adjustment, Eugene Nweke, a clearing and forwarding expert, warned that the CBN needs to desist from the act of incessant increment of exchange rate for Customs duty.
He said dishing out fiscal and monetary policies without recourse to its economic implications in every sense of responsive leadership via a crystal and statutory feedback mechanism, falls short of the renewed hope mantra.
Nweke said the CBN needs to pay attention to how many businesses are closing shops per month; how many are downsizing weekly, monthly and quarterly; the population of Nigerians that are out of jobs; how the inflation rate has affected the purchasing power of the citizenry; the contributory effect of this policy and increments to the ailing economic hardship and poverty in the land; its contributory effect to the insecurity in the land among other issues.
This is the fifth exchange rate adjustment the port industry has witnessed after the Service started the implementation of the floating foreign exchange rate regime by the Central Bank of Nigeria in July 2023 and the fifth since the coming into power of the new government.
The Customs 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 today, it has been raised to N1,413.625/$.