There is increasing congestion at the ports following the increment of the exchange rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from N1472.756/$1 to N1605.82/$1 on Wednesday.

Recall that the CBN at the weekend had marginally reduced the exchange rate from N1515.48 to N1472.756/$1.

However, checks by the Nigerian Tribune on Wednesday revealed that the exchange rate had shot up to N1605.82/$1 according to figures obtained from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) portal.

Related PostsSanusi backs relocation of CBN departments to LagosShipping Agents tell maritime workers to shelve planned protestGas Flaring Penalty: Reps task CBN with releasing N27.6bn to host communities

The recent increase, which stakeholders said will not be the last, has set tongues wagging about whether the CBN is sensitive to the pains, hunger and general sufferings in the country.

Clearing agents have lamented that the incessant increases have impacted negatively on their businesses as well as trade volume, as importers have abandoned their goods at the ports while others have diverted their cargoes to the ports of neighbouring countries.

Speaking with the Tribune Online, the Head of Research at the Sea Empowerment Research Center, a group monitoring imports and export business in Nigeria, Dr. Eugene Nweke explained that many cargoes are being left inside the ports uncleared due to the unpredictability nature of the nation exchange rate system.

“Many importers are currently in trouble because many of the cargoes ordered on credit have not been paid for.

“The Chinese firms who sent these cargoes to Nigeria on credit are currently chasing some of these importers for payment, but many have absconded because what they planned is not what they are seeing on the Customs portal.

“How can the CBN turn our Customs duty regime into what is being routed with? It is now a norm for importers to open Form M and order goods, only to go back to the page to see different values of duty to be paid.

“Many importers ordered these goods on credit and after seeing different values on the Customs portal, had to abandon such goods inside the ports because what they budgeted for cannot meet what they are seeing on the Customs portal.

“If this trend continues, we might have a situation where our ports will now become home to abandoned cargoes that are being auctioned at cut-down prices.

“There is a need for the CBN to stop this attitude of jacking up our exchange rate value. It is affecting trade and making importation very difficult to navigate.”

Also speaking, another clearing agent, Tunbosun Ajayi explained that Lime and Cotonou ports are now the preferred ports for Nigerian cargoes.

In his words “We now advise our clients to use Lome or Cotonou ports because the level of unpredictability at Nigerian ports is very high and not good for business.

“Most of our clients now use Lome or Cotonou ports because you can easily calculate your expenses using those ports compared to Nigerian ports.

“If you open Form M today in Nigeria, you can rest assured that what you are going to pay will be higher than what you will get while opening Form M because the CBN would have jacked up the exchange rate which decides Customs duty in Nigeria.

“So, for now, Lome and Cotonou are our preferred destinations.”

Copyright © 2022 Nigerian Tribune Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (