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League Expresses Dissatisfaction With Customs Duty Rate Adjustment


The League of Maritime Editors (LOME) at the weekend condemned the new rate of exchange used in calculating duties on imports by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and called on the relevant agencies of government to go back into the planning session and carry out an urgent review.

According to the League, the rate which was released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for implementation by the   Customs Service (NCS) is insensitive and economically counterproductive under current reality, noting it would further worsen the already bad situation and biting hardship faced by the masses of Nigerians.

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The League’s concern is coming on the heels of news reports that the Customs Service is now to calculate duties on imports at the rate of   N1,356.883 per dollar; even as the exchange rate keeps floating downwards in the most erratic manner, under this administration’s guidance.

The statement which was signed by the President, Chief Timothy Okorocha and the Secretary, Mr. Felix Kumuyi, and issued by the League’s Public Relations Officer, Francis Ngwoke, described the rate as outrageous in view of its obvious consequences on the national economy.

According to the League, given the prevailing economic conditions such as the current petroleum price hike under the deregulation policy and its consequences on cost of transportation, the new duty rate is destined to be counterproductive.

The group says importers and manufacturers will be forced to increase prices of their goods which will have retroactive telling effects of the prices of goods and services across board, and further worsen the living conditions of Nigerians.

The statement reads: “There is hardly any day that prices of all types of food and other goods in the market do not go up. So, the new rate to be implemented by the Customs in calculating duties will worsen the situation.

“Economic policies are introduced for the good of the people and not to worsen their living conditions and expose them to extreme poverty.  Every policy must have human face. This current policy is certainly against the common interest of the people because it will further compound their woes and send them to early graves following price explosions being experienced in the market.”

The League while noting that the Customs management is simply implementing the directive advised the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria management to always seek the input of the Customs Service during policy formulation in order to have informed direction in their policy thrusts.

The League pointed out that such high rate of duties will also discourage imports, a development that could lead to scarcity of essential goods in the market and its multiplier effects on prices.

“The new rate will stifle trade rather than promote trade.  Cargo throughput will be affected; it will hit everyone, including manufacturers who will be forced to raise product prices as they are doing now. In such a situation, only very few people and the rich will be able to afford these goods.

“What it means is that the policy will only favour the rich who can pay for anything and leave many Nigerians to their fate. We believe that this is not what the present administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu stands for.

“We think that government should take another look at the rate and that the Customs Service, the Ministry of Finance and CBN should sit and do a quick review.  Every policy must promote economic wellness of the people and not send them to their early graves.

“If the FG insists on implementing the new rate, some importers will have no choice than to pay, but remember that it is actually Nigerians that will suffer at the end, because the importers will ensure they recover their investments.”


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