By DAPO OLAWUNI
Again, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the exchange rate for cargo clearance from Nigerian ports from ₦407.3 to ₦408.77 per dollar.
In a development that licensed customs agents have described as shocking, the new rates were effected on the Nigeria Customs Service systems last week Tuesday, the first working day of the year 2022.
As usual, the licensed customs agents lamented that they were not informed or sensitized by the customs before such changes were effected in the system.
Confirming this to DAILY TREND NEWS correspondent, Secretary of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, Barr Michael Ovien stated that agents have since resigned to fate, as they are now helpless in the hands of the Federal government.
“We all woke up last week Tuesday immediately when we resumed from the New Year Holidays, and we saw that Exchange Rate has increase from ₦407.3 to ₦408.77.
“Since it is now the nature of the Ministry of Finance to always play with the Exchange Rate in the customs system without proper consultations and notice to both the importers and Licenced Agents, we took it just like that and pass the differentials back to the importers to pay”
According to Barr Ovien, most of the importers that opened their Form ‘M’ last year 2021 with the old Exchange Rate have since been paying the new rate, adding that there was no channel or table to lay their complaints.
Speaking on the newly introduced VIN Valuation system by the Nigerian Customs, Barr Ovien said the scheme will automatically stop importation of vehicles older than 15-years from being imported to Nigerian Ports.
“For the importers that import vehicles into the country, Nigeria Customs have unveiled the long awaited VIN Valuation system, that will automatically generates value/ Ex-factory value for each vehicle after imputing the VIN of that particular vehicle”
“This is provided the car is within the stipulated 15years approve by govt for importation into the country.
“Again, no notice was given (circular) for the kick off date, we just wake up and meet this changes.
It is only in Nigeria that things are done this way, because there are no collective barging from the stakeholders to checkmate the government ” he said