Home Business In 24 hours, CBN increased Import Duty by another 4.4%

In 24 hours, CBN increased Import Duty by another 4.4%

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CBN HQ, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised import duty rates by 4.4 percent within 24 hours, causing uproar among importers and Customs brokers.

The new rate, now at N1,413.62 per dollar, follows a previous increase to N1,356.883. The previous increase, reported on Friday, represented a significant 43 percent hike in Customs exchange rate. Although the development was met with vehement opposition, the apex bank reviewed the rate yet again.

Expressing concerns, some business leaders have condemned the sudden upward review and computation of import duty from a manageable N952 to a throat-cutting N1,413.62 per dollar.

Dr. Muda Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer of Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, stated that the surge will negatively impact various sectors, exacerbating inflation and further impoverishing vulnerable populations.

He remarked: “It is double jeopardy for the investors across all sectors especially those in the real sector. This action will further fuel inflation as production and operating costs get escalated. The vulnerable segments of the population will be further impoverished as cost push inflation gets exacerbated.

“CPPE appeals to the CBN to reverse this rate hike in the interest of the already impoverished segments of our society and the numerous businesses that are already on the verge of collapse.

“The shocks, disruptions and dislocations are of immense proportions. It is even worse that the rates take immediate effect. This is a policy action that is difficult to justify, especially in the context of the multidimensional headwinds that businesses are grappling with.”

Businesses in Nigeria have to grapple with more than the currency devaluation resulting from the sudden unification of the exchange rate, which drove the official exchange rate to about N1400. The sudden policy shift amidst ongoing economic challenges implies the possible collapse of import businesses, which would further complicate the economic situation of the country.

Stakeholders have labeled the Nigerian government as insensitive for imposing successive increases.

Speaking to Vanguard, however, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders(NAGAFF) claimed that CBN will yet again implement an increase to N1500 per dollar. The nation has, no doubt, hiked on a tumultuous ride to economic instability.



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