CBN slashes import duties seven times in two weeks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slashed customs import duties on cargoes imported into the country at the nation’s seaports and airports seven times within the space of two weeks.

The customs duty dollar-denominated rate was reviewed downward from N1,612 per dollar on March 15 to N1,303/$1 on March 29.

Recall that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) had declared that the exchange rate for duty collection and cargo clearance would be determined by the official dollar exchange rate from CBN.

With the downward review of import duties, there are expectations that prices of imported finished goods such as cement, food items, sugar, drugs and other raw materials would drop significantly.

This is considering the argument of the manufacturers of these products earlier attributing high customs’ duty exchange rate as reasons for the increase in price in the past few months.

In total, the exchange rate had been reduced by 19.2 per cent that is N309 between March 15 and 29, 2024.

The reduction as noted on the Nigeria Trade Hub are as follows: March 15, 2024: N1,612/$1; March16, 2024: N1,593/$1; March 19, 2024: N1,572/$1; March 23, 2024:N1,448/$1; March 26, 2024: N1,405/$1; March 28, 2024: N1,364/$1 and March 29, 2024: N1,303/$1.

To this end, importers that opened Form M last week were expected to pay less to clear their cargoes as import duties are benchmarked against the dollar.

Meanwhile, the Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI) has commended the pace with which the naira has rebounded against major global currencies in the last couple of days attributing it to a cocktail of positive policies introduced by government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Chairman of IMPI, NiyiAkinsiju, in a statement, said the government and the CBN deserve the commendation of Nigerians for the prompt and determined policy geared to addressing the supply and demand sides of the foreign exchange market.

According to the policy think tank: “To properly put this in perspective, we need to, as a matter of fact, from the outset, commend the dexterity of the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in conceiving policies and deploying them to time and target as he virtually willed into existence a new monetary policy and exchange rate ecosystem by using policy actions to address both the supply and demand sides of the domestic foreign exchange market.

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