Hardship: Peg customs duty at N1000/$, CPPE urges CBN 

” It is worsening the cost-of-living crisis and putting thousands of maritime sector jobs at risk."

Hardship, Peg customs duty, N1000/$, CPPE, CBN 
Hardship, peg customs duty,  n1000/$, cppe, cbn The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE),  has urged the  Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to peg the customs duty exchange rate at N1000 per dollar for the rest of the year.
Its Founder, Dr Muda Yusuf, gave the advice on Sunday in Lagos via a statement.
According to him, the appeal is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to ease the current hardships on the citizens and the burden on businesses.
Yusuf welcomed the decision of the CBN to approve the use of the exchange rate reflected on the import documentation [Form M] at the onset of import transaction.
This, he said, was a laudable response to the grievances of investors in the economy and would reduce the current uncertainty around imports and related transactions in the economy.
He, however, noted that the intervention does not address the bigger and the more troubling issue of the current prohibitive cost of cargo clearance at the ports, which had risen by over 40 per cent in the last two months.
“The high exchange rate for import duty assessment is fueling the already high inflation, increasing production and operating costs for manufacturers and other businesses.
” It is worsening the cost-of-living crisis and putting thousands of maritime sector jobs at risk.
“There is also the added risk of cargo diversion to neighboring countries and heightened smuggling which can  jeopardise the realisation of customs revenue target.
“The current customs duty exchange rate of N1488.9 per dollar, is still too high in the context of the current galloping inflation and difficulties facing businesses and the citizens,” he said.
The CPPE boss revealed that instances of abandoned cargo was on the increase as a consequence of escalating trade cost.
These, he opined, were not good outcomes for an economy seeking to ensure recovery, drive growth, promote inclusion and guarantee social stability.
“Pegging the customs duty exchange rate resonates with the present intervention measures to mitigate the current hardships in the country.
“Besides, this proposition does not in  any way detract from the economic reform agenda of the present administration.
“If anything, it will complement the economic transformation measures because of the expected positive impact on competitiveness, productivity, cost reduction, deceleration of inflation and employment generation,” he said.