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CPPE Advises CBN To Adopt A Quarterly Customs Duty Exchange Rate

Siaka MOMOH

The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise [CPPE] has called on the Central Bank (CBN) to adopt a quarterly Customs Duty exchange framework  that would put a stop to the volatility of the existing one which it considered inimical to business operation in the country.

In a statement CPPE released to the media on Tuesday, it said “The frequent changes in the customs duty exchange rate have become a huge burden on the business community.  This has led to high volatility in cargo clearing costs, worsening inflationary pressures and aggravating investment risk , especially in the real sector of the economy.  These frequent changes are profoundly detrimental to production, planning and other real sector activities in the Nigerian economy. “

CPPE explained: “In the first quarter of this year, there were changes in the customs duty exchange rate twenty-eight times.  In April , the frequency of changes would be close to ten times or even more. As at 1st May 2024, the rate has jumped to N1373.65/$.  It was less than N1200/$ few days before.

“ It is extremely difficult for investors to plan under these unstable circumstances.  The situation has introduced an unprecedented level of uncertainty and unpredictability  to the international trade dynamics. Investment risk has become elevated, planning has become difficult, risk management has become challenging and investors’ confidence is being weakened.”

The Centre therefore  appealed  to the CBN to adopt a framework to minimize volatility in the customs duty exchange rate in line with the commitment of the present administration to bolster investors’ confidence and drive economic growth.

 “Such framework, it said,  “should adopt a quarterly customs duty exchange rate, after due consultation with the fiscal authorities”.

 Said CPPE: “We propose a commencement rate of N1000/$ customs duty exchange rate.  Consultation with the fiscal authorities is imperative because of the trade policy implications of such decisions.  It is also consistent with the commitment of the present administration to effective coordination between fiscal and monetary authorities.”

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