The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to delay the implementation of the E-invoice and E-evaluator initiatives by 90 days to allow for stakeholder input.
This was stated by Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of MAN, in a report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
The House of Representatives had already requested that the CBN suspend its implementation to allow for adequate sensitization on the policy’s viability at all major ports of entry throughout the country.
According to Ajayi-Kadir, the call was especially important for the types of manufacturers and businesses who would be adversely affected by the development.
He observed that the 11-day grace period for implementation was excessively short, as the circular on monetary or fiscal guidelines required adequate adjustment time.
Many operators, according to Ajayi-Kadri, would have opened Form M and closed deals for international transactions, where a minimum of 90 days was normally required.
“Straightaway, one must say that transactions already in progress prior to the implementation of the guidelines should be exempted, and the implementation date should be extended by at least 90 days,” he said.
Ajayi-Kadir also stated that the new regulation, which states that any Form M with a unit price greater than 2.5 percent of the verified global checkmate price will not be approved, is a source of concern for manufacturers.
He stated that it would limit exporters’ ability to obtain a higher value for their exports.
“In addition, we are concerned about the establishment of a global price verification mechanism and benchmark prices.”
“What if some businesses are able to negotiate better prices due to their volume of orders and obtain competitive lower prices?” Will these competitive prices fall within the range of the benchmark?
“Clearly, this aspect of the policy will lead to several valuation challenges in the future, including a floodgate of valuation issues with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),” he said.
Ajayi-Kadri also requested clarification on paragraph D of the guidelines, which states that “the content of the electronic invoice authenticated by an authorized dealer Bbnks is only advisory for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).”
“MAN regards CBN and NCS as Federal Government agencies and believes that their functions should be harmonized in this regard.”
“Otherwise, businesses and, indeed, our members will be subjected to the NCS’s unnecessary and additional FOB upliftment.”
“This is in addition to a situation in which the CBN forces such importer or manufacturer to reduce its price if it is deemed to be out of compliance with the benchmark pricing.”
“In paragraph H, the CBN directs suppliers and buyers to transmit their authenticated invoices to the Nigeria single-window portal via the CBN-appointed service provider.”
“While MAN views this measure as a step toward reducing perceived malpractices, we believe that the essence of the single window policy is being diminished, which could lead to unnecessary bureaucracy and multiple charges.”
“The annual subscription fee of 350 dollars per authentication by suppliers on the portal meant to maintain the system is a clear disincentive to suppliers of imports to Nigeria, particularly raw materials and spare parts for manufacturers,” he said.
Ajayi-Kadri advocated for a clear step-by-step transaction process under the guidelines to avoid creating chaos and slowing down activity in the manufacturing sector.