NACCIMA Insists Import Duties’ Collection by Customs Must Be Naira-denominated

•Laments delay in release of 2024 fiscal policy

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Oye, has insisted that the duties collected by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should be charged in Naira, rather than in foreign currencies.

Oye stated this in his response to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on the use of foreign currency collateral for Naira loans.

Oye, who said the association was still unclear about the fiscal policy objectives of the recent directives by the CBN, noted that while the monetary policy directives have resulted in calming the markets, the activities continue to be guided without a complementary fiscal policy direction.

“We are still unclear about the fiscal policy objectives being pursued through these monetary policy directives. This directive is one of many in the public domain and our position is to treat them equally.

“In our March 28, 2024 letter with ref No NCC/NP/ 22/23/1267 to the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, we drew the attention of the minister to the vacuum created by anticipated report of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal and Tax reform which is yet to be presented to the organised private sector in April 2024 (the 4th month of the year).

“As explained, most business and investment decisions are anchored upon fiscal and monetary policy expectations. For this reason, we strongly reaffirm and advocate for the timely release of the 2024 fiscal policy,” he added.

Oye said the association will not be distracted by piecemeal bulletins or press releases on monetary policy when it doesn’t have regulatory authority guidance on the critical ingredients like inflation rate target, government debt policy, currency printing (quantitative easing) target or interest rate policy.

The NACCIMA boss however noted that the association was determined to draw attention to the issue for many reasons, including that the recent monetary policy directives have resulted in calming the markets.

“For example 24.75 per cent interest rates will not increase local investment in agriculture and manufacturing. We agree it mopped up liquidity, but what is the objective?

“We still appeal and insist that all bona fide government transactions must be in the sovereign currency of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Customs service must collect the national currency of Nigeria. NCS must stop collecting duties using the United States Dollar rate. The uncertainty has been devastating for many manufacturers and businesses.

“We respectfully urge the esteemed office of the ministry of finance and economic coordination to expedite the release of the presidential committee report,”NACCIMA said.

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