Crisis rocks seaports, as Customs jacks up import duty rate

THERE is crisis at the Lagos port end, as agents and Customs brokers have abandoned containers at the ports following the increment in the exchange rate for import duty calculations from N282 per dollar to N313 by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

According to an impeccable source in the Customs, the increment was down to last week’s crash of the Naira on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official exchange rate window.

When Nigerian Tribune was leaving the ports Monday evening, many of the agents were seen walking out of Customs examination rooms, vowing to leave their consignment in the ports if the rates are not reversed.

According to an agent, Ismail Abolore, “this is unacceptable. Customs cannot just be toying with our lives by changing the import duty rates at will.”

It will be recalled that similar protest had greeted the recent increment of the rates to N283 at the Tin-Can Island Container terminal, when agents clashed with Customs officials over duty change.