The exchange rate for customs clearance of cargoes at Nigerian seaports reached an unprecedented high on Thursday as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increased it by 2.2%, equivalent to N33.61. The updated rate is now N1,515.092/$1, marking the sixth adjustment in 13 days and the tenth since President Bola Tinubu’s administration began in May 2023.

This latest adjustment follows less than 24 hours after the rate moved from N1,444.56/$1 to N1,481.482/$1. Notably, the customs exchange rate is now higher than the official exchange rate, closing at N1,503/$1 on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

Maritime experts anticipate that the upward review will lead to increased costs for Nigerians in clearing goods at ports, as import duties are pegged against the dollar. Since the beginning of President Tinubu’s administration, the CBN has adjusted the exchange rate multiple times, with the latest increment on February 15, 2023, bringing it to N1,515.092/$1.

In response to the continuous increases, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, the national president of the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), urged freight forwarders to collaborate with civil society groups, the Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to address the economic challenges faced by the masses. Ogunojemite criticized the Ministry of Finance and the CBN for losing control of the domestic currency, resulting in its free fall. He expressed concern about the escalating hardships faced by Nigerians and emphasized that the upward adjustment of the customs duty exchange rate would exacerbate the challenges faced by the masses.

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