Hike In Customs Duty Exchange Rate: Blame Federal Ministry of Finance Not Customs - APFFLON President

By: Bisi Akingbade

The National President,  Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, APFFLON , Otunba Frank Ogunojemite has said that Nigeria Customs Service is not to be  blamed for the consistent increase in customs duties but  a deliberate action by Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria,  CBN.

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria,  CBN, has raised Customs duty from N951.941 per dollar to N1. 356 /$. A development that requires that the importers raise more funds to clear their cargoes at the seaport, airport and land borders.

Through information obtained from the Customs Website, the exchange rate for cargo clearing was adjusted by 45.5% and in  less than 24hours before the N1,356 increase, Customs Duty Exchange Rate rose again to N1,413/$, throwing freight forwarders and their importers into serious confusion.

Ogunojemite, therefore advised freight forwarder to join force with the Civil Society groups, the Nigeria Labour Congress and trade unions and redeem the masses from the excruciating economic situation which, in his words, is clearly as a result of sheer incompetence on the side of the current managers of the economy.

“Customs has no hand in the continued increase in tariff, it should be blamed on the CBN under the watch of Mr. Olayemi Cardozo and his counterparts at the Federal Ministry of Finance. What we are witnessing today is as a result of sheer incompetence on the side of those managing our economy. Businesses are dying, manufacturers are shutting down. The ports are almost deserted because freight forwarders have no jobs any more.

“Economy experts have said that the hike would have huge implications on the prices of imported goods already being pressured by surging inflation.

“The recent increase is about 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 fifth since the coming into power of the new government.”

He further blamed  the Federal Ministry  of Finance for upholding a contractual agreement with Web Fontaine, and this has made Web Fontaine to succeed in making nonsense of the federal government policy.

“until the Ministry of Finance resolves to get essential service providers commit to  compensation agreement or have their contracts revoked, the likes of Web Fontaine will continue to take Nigerians for granted. If nothing is done to keep them on their toes, and also address  the challenges posed by the perennial Apapa gridlock, the core essence of the Federal Government’s  policy on Ease of Doing Business will never be actualized.”


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