Nigerians import fewer goods in Q1 2024 over import duty fluctuations

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded a decline of 15,999 (about 5%) in the volume of Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) for imports in the first quarter of 2024.

The total volume declined from 327,492 SDGs to 311,492 between Q1 2024 and Q1 2023. 

According to a document released by the agency and seen by NewsTimes on Wednesday, there was also a bigger decline of 91,741 (about 23%) when compared to Q1 2022. 

The document read: 

  • In the First Quarter 2024, NCS processed a total of 311,492 Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) for imports, reflecting the volume of import transactions handled. 
  • This figure indicates a decrease compared to the total volume of 327,491 processed in 2023 and 403,233 SGDs in 2022.” 

The NCS blamed the fluctuating import duty for the major reason for the decline in the volume of SGDs. 

CBN issues 28 different rates in Q1 2024 

According to the NCS, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued about 28 different import duty rates in the first three months of this year. 

The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, noted that the NCS encountered major challenges with the fluctuations of the CBN exchange rate regime for import duty, which disrupted its activities. 

Adeniyi said: 

  • “In the last quarter, a total of 28 rates were directed by the CBN, ranging from NGN 951.94 per USD 1 in January 2024 to a peak of NGN 1,662.35 per USD 1 in February 2024. While a singular exchange rate of NGN951.94 per USD 1 was maintained in January, February witnessed 15 different spot rates ranging from NGN 951.94 per USD 1 to NGN 1,662.35 per USD 1. 
  • “March saw a total of 13 different spot rates applied, ranging from NGN 1,303.84 to NGN 1,630.16. These fluctuations resulted in an average applied exchange rate of NGN 1,314.03 per USD 1 in the clearance of Customs goods during the quarter. 
  • “The repercussions of these fluctuating rates have sent concerning signals to our stakeholders, affecting and disrupting activities.” 

He, however, noted that the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, has initiated periodic consultations with the apex bank to mitigate the potential impact of exchange rate fluctuations on import activities. 

Rise in export and revenue 

The NCS noted that a total of 10,786 SGDs were processed in 2024 compared to 9,752 transactions in 2023, representing a 10.60% growth in export activities. 

The agency also recorded about N1.3 trillion in revenue for Q1 2024, an increase of 122.35% compared to the figure for last year. 

A breakdown shows that it earned over N390.82 billion in January, over N450.21 billion in February, and over N217.67 billion in March. 

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