Peter Obi criticizes inconsistent duty charges at Nigerian ports

Peter Obi

Mr. Peter Obi, the Chief opposition voice and presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, has criticized the federal government for their inconsistent duty charges at the nation's ports. 

In a message posted on his X handle, Obi expressed his views on the various actions and policies by the government that are making the business environment very hostile in the country.

Obi's criticism of the government's inconsistent duty charges is a reflection of the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria. The lack of consistency in duty charges can lead to unexpected costs and delays, which can negatively impact businesses. 

Obi's message highlights the need for the government to create a more stable and predictable business environment that encourages investment and growth.

Overall, Obi's message is a call to action for the government to address the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria. By creating a more stable and predictable business environment, the government can help to promote economic growth and development in the country.

Hear him: "I wish to kindly call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to end the inconsistency in duty charges as it was affecting the general business atmosphere in the country. The federal government should stop the arbitrariness and ever-changing customs duties as it is now negatively impacting businesses and the cost of items, and this portends a huge danger to the economy.

"A situation where at the point of initiating importation, Form M and other documents related to the importation are based on a particular rate of exchange, for example, N1000 to $1, being the prevailing exchange rate at the time, which the importer of goods has used to calculate the entire process, from the import initiation to receipt of goods in his warehouse. Then suddenly when the goods arrive in Nigeria, and duties are calculated at different rates, say N1400 to $1, it becomes a serious business challenge that results in business losses.

"Such arbitrary charges will obviously lead to further closure of businesses, and attendant job losses. This is because at the time of the initiation of the business, calculations, including duties, have been made based on the prevailing exchange rate, and the prevailing market prices.

"If this situation is not corrected, our importers may resort to using other ports of nearby countries, a situation that will leave our ports under-productive, and further deepen our economy into a worse situation.

"The government should also show consistency in its policies as this will help with economic forecasting and business planning. Businesses are dying and manufacturers are shutting down because of the poor and inconsistent economic policies of the government.

"All efforts of the government should be directed at supporting businesses, especially those in the manufacturing sector, to keep the businesses afloat and keep the economy growing, as the small business sector, remains the most critical engine of economic growth.
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