Cargo clearance: ANLCA says timing of exchange rate increase wrong

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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) says the increase of customs exchange rate for cargo clearance by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) is coming at a wrong time.

Mr Ojo Akintoye, the Chairman of Tincan Island Chapter of ANLCA, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

NAN reports that the CBN recently increased the exchange rate for cargo clearance from N381 to N404.97 per dollar.

According to Akintoye, there is an already tense atmosphere in the nation, coupled with the rising insecurity and the increase in cargo clearance rate will put more pressure on the already tense situation.

He added that it would also lead to a hike in prices of goods in the market.

“To the best of my knowledge in cargo clearance, this increase will increase everything about cargo clearance in the country and in the long run, impact negatively on the prices of goods in the market.

“Government should understand that 30 percent of cargo brought into the country is meant for commercial purposes and so the need to look inwards concerning the increase.

“We are still experiencing economic setbacks from the COVID-19 impact and this increase will add more hardship to society.

“This is just not the right time for the Government to go ahead and increase the exchange rate for cargo clearance because presently, there is an increase in everything that Nigerians buy today,” he said.

Akintoye pointed out that 90 percent of what was being used in the country was imported as the country did not produce anything, adding that there should be an alternative for what we do in the country.

He urged the government to go back to the previous rate, adding that if the economy stabilises, they could increase and people would understand and not agitate much.