Customs reacts as naira crashes to N285/$1 at the interbank market
– The Nigerian Currency, Naira has crashed to N285 to a dollar at the interbank market following the new flexible exchange rate policy to be introduced by CBN
– Nigerian Customs reacts to reports that it will begin to use the rate of N285 to the dollar for the calculation of duty on all imports from Wednesday June 1, 2016
– President Muhammadu Buhari gives the CBN the go-ahead to introduce flexibility in the naira exchange rate
Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria yet to roll out the details of the new flexible exchange rate policy, which is a monetary system that allows the exchange rate to be determined by supply and demand, the nation’s currency naira has switched to N285 to a dollar at the interbank market, The Guardian reports.
The policy, which throws naira into open market, paves way for one to walk into the bank and ask to buy forex at the market rate, hence, putting pressure on black market and Bureau de Change operators.
The interbank rate had run nearly at par with the official at N199 per dollar and N197 per dollar respectively before the pronouncements on the new foreign exchange measure.
The new rate represents about 43.2% increase from N199 to the dollar it previously traded, which according to analysts suggests that the market is gradually adjusting itself to the new direction, although the details are yet to be unfolded.
However, a look on the apex bank official website, www.cbn.gov.ng has shown the naira is still pegged at N197.
Meanwhile, reports that the Nigerian Customs department announced it will begin to use the rate of N285 to the dollar for the calculation of duty on all imports from Wednesday June 1, 2016, has been denied by the Service.
Reports had emanated on some online news platforms, not NAIJ.com, that the Service had announced N285 per dollar for duty calculation as from 1st June 2016.
But according to the Service, the responsibility of fixing official duty rates is the function of the CBN, hence the Service could not have been the one to announce a new official rate.
A statement signed by Wale Adeniyi, the public relations officer for Comptroller-General of Customs, read: “The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a misleading publication in some online platforms claiming that the Service has announced N285 per dollar for duty calculation as from 1st June 2016.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the responsibility of fixing official duty rates is the function of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hence the Service could not have been the one to announce a new official rate as purported in the publication that gave no source. The extant rate issued by CBN which is still the basis for duty calculation is N197.
“Nigeria Customs Service has not received any new rate from the CBN neither is it aware of any dissemination of contrary information on this subject matter.
“The General Public is therefore advised to discountenance the misleading publication and continue to comply with the extant rates until such a time as may be deemed fit for review by the CBN.”
NAIJ.com recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari has given the CBN the go-ahead to introduce flexibility in the naira exchange rate.
Speaking in an interview on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Buhari said: “The president is opposed to devaluing the naira, he has said so repeatedly.
“He has given them leeway to introduce what he has called ‘flexibility in managing’ the currency’s value.”
Buhari said at the weekend that he supported a stable currency, though he would keep “a close look at how recent measures affect the naira and the economy.”