Forex restriction: Customs to meet with CBN over declining revenue

Disturbed by the negative impact the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) foreign exchange restriction is having on its revenue collection, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it plans to meet with CBN over the possible review of the policy.

Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Wale Adeniyi said in Abuja on Thursday that the consultation was to see how the policy could be fine-tuned to take care of the negative impact on Customs revenue without necessarily negating the objective of the policy.

“What Customs is doing is to start engagement from the government agency to government agency; so we are going to be talking to CBN first to see what can be done in terms of review of policy.

“We all understand the objective of the policy but we don’t want a policy that will achieve one objective on one side and create some disruption and problem on the other.

“The objective of our consultation with CBN will be to see how we can fine-tune the policy to take care of the negative impact it is creating for our revenue without necessarily negating the objective of the policy itself. So we will start with that and we hope we will get some positive outcome, mutually beneficial solution to the issue.

“It is only if we don’t get beneficial solution that we hope to take the matter to higher authorities,” Adeniyi said.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali had attributed the shortfall of N240 billion in customs revenue target to the CBN monetary policy which banned 41 items from accessing the official foreign exchange window.

Ali said that the service only generated N903 billion out of its N954 billion revenue target in 2015 due to the policy.

“The CBN policy on 41 items; when we did our analysis, has denied us money to the tune of N240 billion. So if we add that to what we have generated, it would have surpassed what we have.

“So that is the downside of why we were not able to meet the target in 2015; but hopefully with all the tools we put in place and I hope that government will once again look at those policies and see how they can be fine-tuned,” Ali had said.

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