The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Friday described as hasty the recent 43 per cent hike in import duties by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
NAGAFF’s National Publicity Secretary, Stanley Ezenga, said the association only got wind of the development from the media, adding that NAGAFF and other stakeholders were not carried along.
He said that the increase in import duties was not in the interest of the masses, saying that it would increase the costs of doing business as well as prices of imported goods.
NCS had through a circular issued to all Zonal Coordinators and Area Controllers on July 1, directed that all commands should begin charging duties based on the new forex regime.
The circular, signed by A. Adewusi, Deputy Comptroller-General, Tariff and Trade, said the calculation of Customs duties based on the N197 to one US dollar was no longer tenable.
“We understand that we are in difficult times economically and that there is need for government to raise the duties based on the new forex regime. But our position is that people are already feeling the impact of the economy and of course the hike will increase the prices of goods.
“Even, if they must do it, they should have involved all other stakeholders in the whole process and arrived at something that would have been a bit acceptable to everyone,” Ezenga said.
He urged the government to put in place palliatives for the masses in view of the effect that the hike would have on their lives.
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