Importers are in for harder times as the Federal Government has increased the exchange rate for calculation and payment of import duty from N381 to N404.97 to the dollar.
It was gathered that Customs officials have subsequently commenced implementation of the new exchange rate from Tuesday.
Confirming the development, Vice President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, said all transactions and cargoes cleared from the port as at Tuesday, were already using N404.97 to the dollar to compute their import duty.
Farinto lamented the implementation of the new exchange rate, which he said will not only increase the cost of importing goods into the country, but also add to the already high prices of goods in the market.
He said, “The increase was effected today (Tuesday). It is unfortunate that with this development, cost of cargo clearance will increase and value of goods will increase and that is inflation.
“The purchasing power of the common man on the street will continue to reduce because something you purchased N10 last month, this month, they will tell you is N60.
“Customs does not have control of it. They will just update the increase on their system immediately and they have done that. I have a job that I collect a valuation on Monday based on N381 but we can’t do the declaration now because it has been changed to N404.
“We are not producing anything as our economy is over 90 per cent import oriented, so what do we expect? Even common electricity that will assist a nation, we do not have it.
“The drivers of the economy of this country are actually confused. The naira keeps depreciating everyday and our import volume is increasing. That means we don’t have an economy.
“When a country is getting too many loans, it will be decreasing and depreciating the local currency and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will continue to tell you to devalue your naira because we are living on loans.
“Most of the loans we are having now in the last two years are Chinese loans ad nobody knows the condition attached to it. We do not have any economy again,” he lamented.