The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the implementation of the recently launched electronic invoice (e-invoice) for all import and export operations.
The lawmakers hinged their reasons on lack of adequate sensitisation on the part of CBN, asking the apex bank to avail the stakeholders a 90 day grace period before implementation.
An electronic -invoice is a enabled invoice issued, transmitted, received, processed, and stored in a specific standardised format.
The apex bank had last week set February 1st 2022 as date to kick-start the newly-introduced electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and evaluator for exporters and importers. .
The apex bank in a circular referenced TED/FEM/EPC/PUB/01/001 signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, O. S. Nnaji, and addressed to authorised dealers and the general public stated that the new regulation aimed at determining the accurate value for goods leaving the country or otherwise. The migration was announced in August, last year.
However, during plenary on Thursday, the house of representatives passed the resolution mandating the CBN to halt the implementation for adequate sensitisation
on the workability of the policy in all major ports of entry, including seaports, airports, and border stations.
“Sudden monetary/fiscal circular hurriedly or half-haphazard implemented often leads to policy summersault hence major policy change such as this. 90 days grace period is usually expected for transactions to run its full course to avoid distortion in the economy and also to avoid price distortions of trade,” the lawmaker said.
According to him, the CBN has gradually deviated from its core mandate of providing monetary policy measures to concentrating on fiscal policy measures, which is the function of the ministry of finance.
He added that major stakeholders in the ports and the public are not given adequate time to study the policy, it will “distort prices of goods and services and create logjams for imports and exports, delay transactions and consequently cause ports congestion”.
Abejide further noted that “Importers and exporters in the manufacturing, mining and trading sectors would be affected because as 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.”