The prices of cars are expected to soar by at least 40 per cent after the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Customs Service increased the exchange rate used for calculating import duty.
With the new rate, Nigerians who import Toyota Camry cars will spend N1.270 million instead of N901,000 it cost to clear the vehicle under the previous rate. The import duty on Toyota Corrola is now N1.097 million from the previous N786,000 while Toyota Venza cost N1.632 million to clear at the port.
Any importer will pay N2,550,447 to clear Lexus Rx instead of the initial N1.828 million, according to the new rate.
According to a report by PUNCH, the NCS on Saturday raised the exchange rate used for the calculation of import duty from N422.30/dollar to N589/dollar.
The development, which has led to a corresponding 40 per cent increase in import duty on imported cargoes including vehicles, has angered operators in the maritime sector with clearing agents, freight forwarders, and importers calling for an immediate reversal of the policy.
Stakeholders said the policy would lead to job losses in the maritime sector and a drastic fall in the number of imported vehicles.
This, they said, could affect business and economic growth. Economists also said the government was insensitive, saying the policy was capable of affecting Nigerians negatively.
The development came barely one month after the Federal Government removed fuel subsidy and floated the naira. It also came at a time Discos began a gradual increase of their tariff.
The National Public Relations Officer, NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, who confirmed the new exchange rate on its portal, said the agency was only implementing a CBN policy.
He said, “Whatever you see in our system is what has been communicated to us. It is determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria. So whatever we are using is what is obtainable as communicated to us. It is a monetary policy, we only implement what is given to us. It is a monetary policy and anything monetary is not determined by us, it is determined by the CBN. We only use what is communicated to us.”
Also confirming the development, the Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, at Tin Can Island, Remilekun Sikiru, said that the new rate had been effected on the Customs portal.
Our correspondent also confirmed the new rate on the Customs portal on Sunday.
Sikiru, also the CEO of Siktemstar Logistics, said that the customs duty payable on vehicles had increased astronomically.