The Federal government of Nigeria has lost about N455.9billion to the Foreign Exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2015 till date.
This is aside N1.4 trillion the organised private sector has lost to paucity of Foreign Exchange to the policy.
Private operators across several sectors (FMCGs, steel, furniture, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing) lost about N1.46 trillion in stalled business activities resulting from paucity of forex.
Recall that in June 2015, the present administration placed a ban on 41 items from accessing the Foreign Exchange market.
Among the item banned from accessing the Foreign Exchange include Rice, Cement, Margarine, Palm kernel/Palm oil products, vegetables oils, Meat and processed meat products,Vegetables and processed vegetable products. Poultry chicken, eggs, turkey
Private airplanes/jets, Indian incense, Tinned fish in sauce(Geisha)/sardines, Cold rolled steel sheets, Galvanized steel sheets, Roofing sheets, Wheelbarrows, Head pans.
Others are, Metal boxes and containers, Enamelware, Steel drums, Steel pipes. Wire rods(deformed and not deformed), Iron rods and reinforcing bard, Wire mesh, Steel nails, Security and razor wine, Wood particle boards and panels, Wood Fibre Boards and Panels, Plywood boards and panels.
The ban also include, Wooden doors, Toothpicks, Glass and Glassware,Kitchen utensils, Tableware,Tiles-vitrified and ceramic
Textiles, Woven fabrics, Clothes, Plastic and rubber products, polypropylene granules , cellophane wrappers, Soap and cosmetics, Tomatoes/tomato pastes, Eurobond/foreign currency bond and share purchases.
Also, the service revenue had been receding from the implementation of the foreign exchange policy.
However, the policy had led to loss of revenue by terminal operators, shipping companies, manufacturers and freight forwarders on the maritime industry .
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) had said that the service recorded a loss of N230 billion in the last quarter of 2015 due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) closure of the foreign exchange window to 41 imported items.
He also said that in first half of 2016 Nigeria lost a total of N138.9 billion, representing 35.5% in income generation expected from the agency between January and May, 2016.
Ali disclosed that within the period, the Nigeria Customs Service lost a total of N138.9bn out of the N390.6bn it was expected to generate within the period. He further disclosed that the agency was able to generate the sum of N251.8bn out of which the sum of N211.124,434,386.60 was generated for the federation Account with the sum of N40,591,872,059.41 generated for Non federation Account.
Giving breakdown of revenue generation within the period, the Customs boss said “compared to last year or what we are expected to generate, we are in deficit of 18,406,949,135.55 as against the sum of N78,110,936,416.67 expected to be generated in the month of January.” For the month of February, the customs, according to Ali, lost N27,176,737,878.21 instead of N78,110,936.416.67 just as the sum of N28,910,737,844.24 could not be realized from N78,110,936,416.67 expected in the month. The agency equally lost the sum of N32,304,439,625.98 from N78,110,936,416.67 in April just as it lost N32,039,511,153.56 from the expected generation of the sum of N78,110,936,416.67 in the month of May. “With this, it means we have 35% less than what we are supposed to have generated, “he said.
However, aside from the huge amount of revenue the Customs CG said the service has lost, the service revenue had been dwindling since the implementation of the Policy in 2015.
The service generated N898bn as revenue in 2016, including VAT as against N904billion in 2015.
The revenue of 2015 was also lower to the N977.09billion generated in 2014 by the service.
He attributed the loss to CBN’s forex policy and increase in volume of credit.
“The CBN forex policy has become a big problem to trade, therefore people are not importing and we are a nation that is dependent on importation. If people do not import, there will be no duty paid and Customs we has nothing to collect. “With this trend, there is no way we can, by any chance, meet the target set to us. We are hoping and praying that with the release of the budget and with the now relaxed forex market, we hope that traders will begin to pick up and import things. If things do not improve, certainly, we are in big problem, “he said.