The Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has increased the exchange rate for cargo clearance from N952/$ to N1.356 per dollar. This adjustment comes just weeks after a previous increase from N783/$ to N952/$.
Initially, in November, the exchange rate for cargo clearance witnessed a rise from N757 per dollar to N783 per dollar, representing a 3.4% increase. Subsequently, it was further adjusted from N783/$ to N952/$ in December.
As of Friday, the new rate has been observed on the portal of the Nigeria Customs Service, raising concerns among various stakeholders.
Remilekun Sikiru, a member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, expressed his concern over the continuous escalation in exchange rates. In a conversation with *The PUNCH*, Sikiru remarked, “How do we explain this? From N952/$ to N1.356/$ as of Friday morning with about N404 increase? It’s quite unfortunate that the prices of goods and commodities will automatically increase. Importation would further decrease and depreciate, vehicle prices would skyrocket again.”
Ben Anya, another agent, highlighted the immediate impact of the rate hike, emphasizing that the cost of clearing would rise. He pointed out that this increase would not only affect the cost of goods in the market but could also result in a reduction in importation.
Stakeholders are raising questions about the sustainability and implications of such frequent adjustments, expressing concerns about the potential negative impact on the economy, trade, and consumer prices. The maritime industry, in particular, is under scrutiny, with calls for a more comprehensive evaluation of the challenges faced by freight forwarders and customs brokers in light of these new rates.