LCCI raises critical questions about CBN e-Invoice implementation

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its recent guidelines on e-Assessor and Electronic Invoicing which replaced the final paper invoice.

However, critical questions have been raised regarding subscription fees, appropriate transition time and the customer complaint resolution section of the bill.

This was revealed by the Managing Director of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona. The move was a major step in ending the age-old practice of overcharging that dubious importers and exporters had used over the years to take away the country’s forex.

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what she says

According to LCCI, the use of an e-Evaluator and electronic invoicing will speed up business operations, increase revenue through more accurate invoicing, and reduce the time required to complete import and export documents.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, on the other hand, raised several concerns that CBN should address in order to improve creativity.

She said, “Ideally, for a critical change of this nature, there should be a pilot phase to help identify potential challenges and address them before the start date.

She also pointed out that the implementation date for the new guideline of February 1, 2022 was only 10 days after the guidelines were published, which she said was insufficient for a smooth transition.

She pointed out that legal liability concerns were not clearly mentioned in the guideline and that the dispute resolution procedure needed to be explained.The CBN should set up an interactive and live customer complaint resolution section within the trade monitoring system to address any bottlenecks that may arise during transactions.” she said.

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She added “It is necessary to clarify whether the subscription fee of $350 should be paid in Naira equivalent or in foreign currencies and if in US dollars, if the affected users will be allowed to procure the dollars through the CBN.“, she said, adding that”the 2.5% around the vertical prices seems strict and should be revised to around 5.0% as discriminatory prices may be a factor. »

She said that to build such a system, there should be more stakeholder participation and collaboration with the organized private sector.

The adoption of a global price verification mechanism led by a reference price, according to the LCCI, is also commendable.

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It said: “As we move to a more automated system, there is a need to increase our investments in digital infrastructure to support the innovative digital products emerging in the country. We also encourage the federal government to automate more processes to reduce the human interface to reduce corruption tendencies in our business chain.

The chamber also said the push for automation is expected to extend to port operations, where sensitive procedures are still done manually, putting importers and exporters at a financial disadvantage.

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