NASAN Express Concerns Over Inconsistent Exchange Rate

NASAN Express Concerns Over Inconsistent Exchange Rate
NASAN Express Concerns Over Inconsistent Exchange Rate

The National Shippers Association of Nigeria (NASAN) has expressed concerns over the federal government’s inconsistent exchange rate policies, noting that it is making the cost of doing business unbearable especially in the export market.

The president General, NASAN, Innocent Akuvue, stated this on the sidelines of a press briefing to formally announce the association’s activities in the country.

According to him, the inconsistent nature of the exchange rate is having a negative impact on businesses even as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is yet to implement the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) directive on Form M.

He also lamented over the unavailability of forex for shippers to fund their operations.

In his words, “Most of the issues that shippers currently face are in the ports, inconsistency of exchange rate. the CBN issued a directive that the exchange rate as at the time you opened your Form M and as you know a Form M is a contract and once the Form M is opened you have an agreement, but at the point of arrival, a new exchange rate surfaces, although the CBN has given that directive, but unfortunately, the customs are not implementing it yet.”

He added, “We are worried that after customs releases a container, the same customs would still impound the container after it leaves the port, so our worry is that why should customs release a container and still hold it down on the road, no matter what wrong a shipment would have had, we want to assume that before the shipment is released, all wrongs would have been corrected and once that container has been checked, it should be as free as it exited till it gets to its point of destination.

He also called for stricter sanctions to be meted by any customs officials who impound a container after it has been cleared.

Also speaking, the national secretary, NASAN, Mrs. Ijeoma Ezeasor, said the inconsistent exchange rate for duties makes it impossible for shippers to forecast while also lamenting the several losses that have been incurred as a result of the inconsistent exchange rates.

“It does not allow for stability and planning, because businesses require for some time to plan and forecast, so it has been difficult for us to forecast and we have made several losses due to inconsistencies in government policies, so it has been hurting shippers both importers and exporters,” she stated.

On the 41 prohibited items, she said it should not have stood as it has triggered a lot of imbalance on manufacturers’ production costs.