The Ongoing Naira Exchange Rate Fluctuations Result in Abandoned Vehicles at Seaport”

Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Nigeria Customs Service area controller for the Tin Can Island Command, addressed a pressing issue at the seaport caused by the continuous Naira exchange rate fluctuations. Importers have left thousands of used vehicles stranded and abandoned.

During a discussion with members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Nnadi expressed his concern about the decline in cargo throughput at the command. He pointed out that the number of vehicles processed by the command had significantly dropped from 32,000 in 2018 to just 4,000 units in 2023, representing an 85% decrease in five years.

Nnadi attributed the problem to high exchange rates, stating that many vehicles were left in the port because their owners couldn’t afford to clear them due to the unfavorable exchange rates. He mentioned that some importers had initially expected an exchange rate of N420 but were faced with the reality of N770, leading them to abandon their vehicles in the United States, saying, ‘we can’t clear them, let them remain there.’

Furthermore, Nnadi noted that the Russia/Ukraine crisis had adversely impacted importation in Nigeria, causing bulk cargoes from the country to stop coming.

In addition to exchange rate issues, Comptroller Nnadi highlighted other factors affecting trade and revenue generation at the command. He expressed dissatisfaction with the trade policies of the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, and pointed out how the conflict in Ukraine had disrupted various imports, such as grains, wheat, and bulk cargo.

Despite these challenges, Nnadi remained committed to achieving his revenue target of N350 billion in the remaining three months of the year. He stressed the importance of upholding integrity and ensuring that correct procedures are followed to reduce disputes and demurrage costs for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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