Government is to reverse some of the stringent measures like the foreign exchange rate because it is really affecting and biting hard on every Nigerian. The exchange rate has increased a lot and it appears the government is not doing anything about it. For instance the dollar rate was slashed for those going on pilgrimage to N197 per dollar and I don’t know what value that can add to the economy; but for those that wants to travel abroad and import goods into the country, the government had never considered it necessary to effect a downward review of the exchange rate so as to increase cargo volume which has been very low since this year. It is no longer news that low cargo volume has dug serious hole in Customs revenue. So if government wants to increase Customs revenue, they need to look towards this direction.
Customs revenue is tied to container throughput. If the import regulation is very tight, no businessman will like to waste his money and this means that revenue remitted on the volume of import that comes in will remain low. If the traders are not importing, Customs will not earn revenue. Government need to reverse some of the policies on forex restriction and sudden policy somersault which has impacted negatively on the economy.
The federal government cannot eat her cake and have it; the forex policy is heavily affecting importation and this has made people importing to change their line of businesses. Some have invested their money into something else and this is what is affecting the industry. Though the Buhari-led administration is not to be blamed because we asked for the change going on now in the country but the government must look inwards to see how she can improve on the revenue by employing practical measures that countries in our own kind of situation adopted in the past without creating unnecessary hardship for citizens.
The government need to reverse the law on importation of goods because this is where Customs make their revenues from; also the Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value should be reviewed to match the exchange rate in order to allow free flow of trade. If these steps are not taken, am afraid the revenue will remain low at the end of the year.
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