The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to brief its Committee on Customs and Excise on the new guidelines on imports and exports businesses in the country.
The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi) at plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion, Mr Abijide said that there was a need for assurance that the target revenue of N3.1trillion given to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, by the Federal Government would be met.
“The NCS has announced to the media that its targeted N4.2 trillion will not be distorted by this sudden policy change,” he said.
Mr Abejide said that on Jan. 21, the CBN issued a circular on guidelines on imports and exports which was to take effect from February.
He said that sudden changes in government policies often lead to policy summersaults.
“For policy change such as this, a grace period of 90 days is usually expected for transactions to run its full course to avoid distortion in the economy,” he said.
Mr Abejide said the CBN has deviated from its primary function of monetary policy by concentrating on fiscal policy measures which was the function of the Ministry of Finance.
“If the guidelines are not given adequate time to sensitise and acquaint the major ports of entry in the country for stakeholders and the general public to study the policy, it will distort prices of goods and services.
“It will, however, create logjams for imports and exports, delay transactions and consequently cause ports congestion.
“Recall in 2020, the immediate implementation of FORM NXP as a mandatory statutory document required to be completed by all exporters for shipment of goods outside the country but it resulted in crisis.
“Most exporters contracts were cancelled by their foreign buyers’ due to network issues and configuration of its portal which takes more than three weeks to resolve thus leading to massive financial loss by exporters,” he said.
Mr Abejide expressed worry that importers and exporters in the manufacturing, mining and trading sectors would be affected.
“Am disturbed that some issues in the guidelines are contradictory for instance, guidelines (c) and (d) contradict each other.
“The guideline (c) states that no importer/exporter may effect payment to the credit of any foreign supplier unless the electronic invoice has been authenticated by Authorised Dealer’s Banks presented together with the relevant documents for payment, but guideline (d) states that the content of the electronic invoice authenticated by Authorised Dealer Banks is only advisory for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),” he said.
The house urged the CBN to suspend the policy with immediate effect to enable adequate sensitisation on the workability of the policy in all major ports of entry including Sea Ports, Airports, and Border stations.
The lawmakers also said that the CBN should give 90 days’ timeline for subsequent new Fiscal/Monetary policy implementation to allow for adjustment in order to stabilise the economy.