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Exchange rate: Agents lament low importation, trapped vehicles



The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) on Saturday said that the floating of the nation’s currency had caused a drop in vehicle importation in the nation’s ports.

The agents also said that vehicles imported into the country were trapped at the ports due to the rise in exchange rate which skyrocketed vehicle duties.

They disclosed these in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, Taskforce Chairman of ANLCA, told NAN that the floating of the naira was inevitable because government wanted a uniform rate.

Amuni, however, urged the government to look into other levies paid at the ports.


According to him, the challenges faced by customs agents at the ports were enormous because of the high dollar rate which hiked duties on vehicles to over 50 per cent.

“The job we used to do after the advent of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in which we charged N1.4 million, is now like N2.2 million and this has resulted in vehicles being trapped in the ports.

“Also, there has been a drop in importation because things are really biting hard,” he said.

Amuni added that the development had affected goods already imported, noting that they had no choice but to clear at the current rate.

He also urged government to look into the levy placed on used goods, adding that they are proposing for a dialogue with the Federal Government on ways to jettison this levy so that there would be a relief.


“Some people are confusing the tax that was suspended recently with the issue of levy. It is not levy that they removed, it’s the Import Adjustment Tax that was supposed to have started.

“We are appealing to government to remove the levy because what does a poor man derive when he buys a Corolla 2004 and pays duty and fine again? The only goods that are supposed to have levy are luxury goods .

“Maybe you are a big man and you want to ride a yatch, helicopter, that is what they are supposed to levy not on used goods,” he said.

Contributing, Mr Michael Imonitie, the Secretary, ANLCA TinCan chapter, said goods were not being cleared at the port due to the challenge.

Imonitie disclosed that out of 100 importers only 20 were taking their goods out of the ports.


According to him, this means that most goods will be incurring demurrage and overtime or even abandoned.

“We all know that there is going to be a negative effect on clearance of vehicles at the port .

“Since government announced uniform exchange rate, the exchange rate has risen from N422.3 to N589.55 and now N770.88 which is pure black market rate . The exchange rate of CBN is N756/N757, government was supposed to have given us a notice of either 60 or 90 days before implementation.

“This is because a lot of importers have opened their Form M at the old exchange rate. I have not seen any importer that have done any new importation. Most of the goods in the port are old stock.

“This means that the end cost of goods will be high. If I am being forced to pay the exchange rate twice of what I have paid before it means that the end users will be the ones to suffer it,” he said.


He said that the burden was on importers and being felt by the clearing agents, the custom brokers, due to the jobs they do, and most of their clients do not have the difference to pay for the exchange rate.

“Some goods have been lying down in the port, some agents are going extra mile to borrow money from individuals because banks have not opened the window for soft loan.

“The hardship is almost 85 per cent of what government has imposed on us .

“The importers are sourcing the money for clearing agents because they are the ones that pay the bill, they pay terminal operators, shipping lines, we only take our commission.

“Now, the importers are complaining and we want them to channel their complaints through the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria because their voices need to be heard,” he said.



WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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FG targets wealthy Nigerians in new tax drive



The Federal Government is planning to overhaul the nation’s tax system to shift more of the burden to wealthy citizens while cutting corporate taxes.

The move — part of President Bola Tinubu’s reforms to overhaul the beleaguered economy – aims to lift the country’s tax take to 18 per cent of Gross Domestic Product within three years from 11 per cent now, according to a Bloomberg report.

A tax amnesty to encourage compliance is also under consideration.

The plan is to make “the rich pay what is fair and those who are too poor can be protected,” said Taiwo Oyedele, who is leading a panel appointed by Tinubu to drive the changes.

“We also envisage a reduction in the corporate income tax rate,” to below the current effective rate of more than 40 per cent to help boost business, he told Bloomberg in a recent interview. The new rate should be benchmarked against Nigeria’s peers, he said.


In Africa’s most populous nation, where a tiny minority enjoy vast wealth while two thirds of its 200 million people live in extreme poverty, the numbers suggest widespread tax evasion.

Nigeria’s tax revenue as a share of GDP is a third of the 34 per cent average for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Among four million registered firms, less than 250,000 actively pay tax, while fewer than a quarter of the 41 million registered people pay income tax, Oyedele said.

The country’s tax system is bedeviled by overlapping local, state and federal jurisdictions, which helps the wealthy to slip through the cracks. The high number of different taxes, which he put at almost 70, also adds to complexity.

“We will find a way to create structures and systems around what taxes can be imposed, how it can be collected, who can collect it and how it should be accounted for,” he said. The goal is to slash the number of taxes down to single digits.


“We just identified the top eight giving us 99% of the taxes, so we keep them and the rest we get rid of,” he said.

Boosting tax collection is vital for a country which, despite its immense oil wealth, has had to borrow heavily to fill the gap between government spending and the revenue shortfall.

Since 2015, the nation’s public debt has increased almost eight-fold to 87.4 trillion naira ($112.6 billion), according to the debt management agency. Servicing those obligations consumed 96% of government revenue in 2022.

A tax amnesty will be introduced to provide a relief on old debts and prepare the mind of the people to meet future obligations.

“If people know that government knows their income, where they are; if they haven’t been paying their taxes, if we declare an amnesty they will show up,” he said.

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