Importation into the country this yuletide period will be low while prices of imported goods will rise as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has adjusted the official exchange rate from N783.174/$1 to N951.941/$1
LEADERSHIP gathered that the adjustment was made on Thursday morning by the CBN, meaning the cost of clearing cargoes in the nation’s seaports will go up.
It could be recalled that the CBN had on June 24, 2023 adjusted the exchange rate from N422.30/$1 to N589/$1 and on July 6, 2023, it was adjusted to N770.88/$1, on November 14, 2023, it was adjusted to N783.174/$1, and now adjusted to N951.941/$1
Clearing agents, however, stated that with the N194 increment, cargoes will be abandoned at the nation’s seaports while prices of goods will skyrocket as a result.
Speaking to our Correspondent, a clearing agent, Comrade Onome Monije, said freight forwarders and importers would have a bleak Christmas.
However, maritime experts have argued that the new Customs exchange rate effectively means there would be an increase in import duty payable by clearing agents to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and would overall affect prices of goods in the market.
Confirming the increment, Comrade Monije, who is the public relations officer, Tin Can Island chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), rued the increment, saying clearing agents will now pay more for cargo clearance at the various seaports.
She said the increment will affect vehicle clearance, saying clearing agents should engage their clients to forestall possible disagreement.
“The federal government has increased the Dollar exchange rate, from N422.30 to N589.45, then to N770.88. In November, it was moved to N783.174 ans now, we are at N951.941 to a dollar. What it implies in simple terms is that, if clearing agents have a Debit Note that has not been paid on the system or Pre-Arrival Assessment Results (PAAR) or they have given you the value and you have not captured, it has affected you directly.
“We just believe that maybe with time, we will see low exchange rate and it will become beneficial to the importers as well because once there is a change in the portal, there is nothing anybody can do about it. But if you have captured or accessed your work, you are good to go and your consignment would be released for you if you don’t have any infraction.”
She explained that only clearing agents that had done the capturing of their consignments would pay with the old exchange rate.
“Whether you have collected your value, whether you have a PAAR, if you have not done your assessment as of now, you can’t capture with that old rate. Especially for the Roll On Roll Off (RORO) or those that are doing PAAR door to door. It’s a Federal Government’s policy. We stakeholders can’t do anything for now, because it’s the prerogative of government to intervene and stabilise the foreign exchange market,” Monije added.