E – invoicing policy of CBN will worsen international trade transactions  – Economist

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E– invoicing policy of CBN will worsen international trade transactions  – Economist

* Says import valuation, classification are statutory functions of Customs

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, has said that the E-invoicing / E-evaluation policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will worsen international trade transactions process.

Dr Yusuf, who is a reputable Economist made this known in his review of economic activities in the first-quarter of 2022.

According to him, the policy will increase transaction cost and uncertainty in the system

His explanation :
“CPPE notes the desire of CBN to digitalize the international trade processes. Leveraging technology normally boosts efficiency and enhances productivity. However, this initiative has generated concerns among stakeholders in the international trade process.

“The view of CPPE is that E- invoice and E- evaluation policy will only worsen an already bad international trade transactions process. The policy will increase transaction cost, entrench red tape, increase uncertainty, escalate business disruption, weaken investors’ confidence and heighten corruption”.

He pointed out :
“There is a strong correlation between red tape and corruption.
The increasing incursion of the CBN into the trade policy space is an aberration in our economic management system and a serious cause for concern to the business community.

” Issues of import valuation and classification are statutory functions of the Nigeria Customs Service, with the Finance Ministry as the supervising organ.

“The decision of CBN to now undertake valuation and product price benchmarking of imports and exports is duplication of the statutory responsibility of the Nigeria Customs Service. It will create an additional regulatory compliance burden, bureaucracy and costs for the business community. ”

His words :
“The international trade process is already characterised by enough challenges.  Investors are contending with overlapping regulation, excessive documentation, weak application of technology, physical examination of cargo, extortion, inadequate cargo handling equipment, stifling bureaucracy, difficult transportation logistics, challenges of access to the ports and weak dispute resolution system. We should therefore be seeking to alleviate these pains, not add to it. “

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