Increase in customs import duty rates directly undermines Nigeria’s economy – Dr Kalu

by Amos Kalu

In consideration of the nation’s dampening, decaying, and dwindling economy, the Nigeria Customs Service still finds it suitable to announce an increase in the import duty rate that is directly going to have adverse impacts on the entire national economic structure. Since the inauguration of this government in power, Nigerians have been sandwiched in tunnels of hardship, lack, and other confronting challenges without any meaningful commitment by the authorities to address the situation.

The news on board all social media platforms has been the federal government’s unexpected announcement that the January salary of Federal civil servants would not be paid as at when due without cogent reasons cited for such a  delay. The government has failed to consider the level of emotional injuries, depression, frustrations, and other economically inflicted challenges the citizens have been undergoing in the face of fuel subsidy removal.

Custom Nigeria

However, the quest of the Nigeria Customs Service for an import duty rate increase is assumed to be a calculated attempt to further plunge the nation into misery, poverty, and continued escalation of youth’s indulgence in crimes and other social vices. The Apex Bank under the watch of Cardozor is not helping issues considering the rapid spate of naira value depreciation against other currencies which directly hits hard on the face of our fiscal economy. We cannot afford to continue setting our tents on fire while at the same time crying out for rescue and intervention. 

It is an indisputable fact that with this new trend of unexpected increases in import duty rates by the Nation’s Customs Service,  prices of commodities in open markets would be astronomically skyrocketing. The truth is that the Tinubu government is coming from the wrong side of expectations as it was supposed to be strongly committed to speedily refurbishing the nation’s collapsing infrastructures and we as engaging in finding lasting solutions to tackling the prevailing security threats in the land.

Very disappointing that improving the salaries and enhancing their conditions has not been the concern of the government rather things capable of worsening the situation are considered priorities and matters of urgent concern by the government. Gov . Soludo of Anambra State yesterday chided teachers to resign if they were not contented with their salary structure and it is abnormal for a  serving governor and a  leader of great repute in his standing to have made such a  public weakening statement.

In a sane and well-behaved society, such a statement should be considered anti-human, careless, and bereft of sympathy for the suffering masses of Nigeria. The government must avoid exploring revenue-yielding potentialities at the expense of the citizens who have been expecting positive changes rather than this very politically motivated economic meltdown hurting the entire landscape of the nation. Truth remains an indelible force too hard to be suppressed and it must continue to be told despite how sour its taste is being assumed by others.

Nigeria has pressing challenges begging the attention of the government such as tackling insecurity, improving workers’ conditions by reviewing their salary structure, all-round infrastructural refurbishment, job creation, increasing the height of the fight against corruption, revisiting and amending the Electoral Act, holistically reforming the national judicial system through public engagement audit of judges, youth empowerment and generally enhancing the living standard of the people. With this focus on the course, Nigeria will not only be transformed but will be seen to have economically achieved the height of excellence.

Chief Emeka Kalu
CEO, Eck Foundation.

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