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Lawmakers suspend CBN’s product tracking policy, question Emefiele’s interest in finance ministry role

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Emefiele Godwin

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been directed by the House of Representatives to suspend its fiscal policy, and electronic invoice (e-invoice) for all import and export operations.

The lawmakers demanded that the CBN sensitive the public before implementing the e-invoice which intends to track value or prices of goods imported into Nigeria and exported out of the country.

Reps summoned the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to come defend the policy, and explain how it won’t affect the Nigerian Customs Service revenue generation upon implementation.

The policy was deliberated upon by the house of Reps following a motion sponsored by Kogi State lawmaker, Leke Abejide, who questioned the hastiness of the CBN to apply the e-invoice.

Abejide told his fellow lawmakers, “Sudden monetary/fiscal circular hurriedly or half-haphazard implemented often leads to policy summersault hence major policy change such as this.”

The apex bank had informed the public and traders that the hard copy invoice submitted for documentation necessary to conduct importation and export business in Nigeria will be replaced by e-invoice, as well as e-valuator.

The e-invoice will be confirmed by the Authorised Dealer Banks (ADBs) on the Nigeria single-window portal, which is the Trade Monitoring System.

However, following today’s plenary session, the lawmakers told CBN to provide 90 days timeline before applying new fiscal/monetary policy, which the reps stated will prevent sudden negative impact on Nigerian economy.

Read also: CBN’s Emefiele needs to stop competing with ministries —Osinbajo

While speaking, Abejide said such sudden policy will “distort prices of goods and services and create logjams for imports and exports, delay transactions and consequently cause ports congestion”.

He added that, “Importers and exporters in the manufacturing, mining and trading sectors would be affected because the exceptions indicate that all exporters and importers with a cumulative invoicing value equal to or above $500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency would be affected which is practically impossible to have anyone below this value cumulatively.”

During the sitting, the lower chamber criticised Emefiele’s interest in fiscal policy, stating that the CBN governor was taking up the role of the finance ministry instead of focusing on monetary policy measures.

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