LCCI COMMENDS CBN FOR THE REMOVAL OF PRICE VERIFICATION SYSTEM: A WIN FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) applauds the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its recent decision to discontinue the Price Verification System (PVS) Portal, effective July 1, 2024. This commendable step directly responds to the persistent advocacy efforts of LCCI and other stakeholders in the organized private sector, aiming to create a more conducive business environment in Nigeria.

The CBN introduced the Price Verification System Portal to ensure accurate pricing of goods and services for foreign exchange transactions aimed to prevent over-invoicing and under-invoicing. While it intended to foster fair pricing in Nigeria’s import and export activities, the PVS Portal had inadvertently become an impediment to business operations, particularly for importers. The mandatory Price Verification Report for completing Form ‘M’ added bureaucratic hurdles and operational inefficiencies that negatively impacted the business community.

The LCCI, representing the interests of the organized private sector, has continuously highlighted these challenges to the CBN and the government. Our concerted efforts, including engaging in dialogue with key stakeholders and presenting data-driven evidence on the adverse effects of the PVS, have culminated in this favourable outcome. The high level of responsiveness of the present government to our advocacy on several issues affecting the private sector is indeed commendable.

The Chamber is also delighted with the similar stance on exempting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) from withholding tax, and the suspension of VAT and import duties on medical supplies. These non-cash interventions, which the Chamber has recently been recommending to the government, have the capacity to gradually and consistently ease the inflationary pressures recorded in the economy in the past two years. These policy interventions by the government will enhance the ease of business in Nigeria. The LCCI appreciates the government’s responsiveness and commitment to addressing the concerns of the organized private sector.

Discontinuing the PVS will have several positive impacts on the Nigerian economy:

  1. By removing the Price Verification Report requirement, businesses will experience reduced delays and lower operational costs. This will streamline the importation process, allowing timely access to essential inputs and fostering higher production levels in the manufacturing sector.
  2. The reduction in bureaucratic bottlenecks will make Nigerian businesses more competitive on a global scale. Lower operational costs and improved efficiency will enable businesses to offer more competitive prices, increase market share, and expand their export potential.
  3. The policy change aligns with the CBN’s mandate of maintaining price stability and promoting sustainable economic growth. By reducing the cost of doing business and enhancing supply chain efficiency, the policy is expected to exert downward pressure on production costs, thereby curbing inflation.
  4. With importers having more certainty about the pricing of the goods, they can plan better and reduce incidences of losses due to unexpected higher prices from such automated price verification systems.

The LCCI commends the CBN for this strategic move and reaffirms our commitment to continuing our advocacy efforts to foster a business-friendly environment in Nigeria. We look forward to further collaborations with the CBN and the government to ensure that policies are in place to support the growth and development of the private sector, ultimately driving Nigeria’s economic prosperity.

DR CHINYERE ALMONA, FCA

DIRECTOR GENERAL

LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY

Tuesday 2ND JULY 2024

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