Nigeria approves $3.1b for automation of customs

Hameed Ali, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service

Nigerian government has approved a sum of $3.1billion for the automation of the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).  

President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval yesterday after a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed explained that the approval for the e-Custom modernization project followed a memo she presented to the Council.  

“The purpose of the memo we presented to Council was for a project that will enable the complete automation of the Nigeria Custom Service processes and procedures using the application and information and technology in all aspects of Customs administration,’’ she said.  

According to the minister, the main objective is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and institutionalize the use of smart and emerging technologies to enhance the statutory function of the NCS in the area of revenue generation.  

She revealed that the project would be financed through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) under a concessionary period of 20 years.  

“So, Council today (yesterday) ratified Mr. President’s approval for the PPP concession for a 20-year period to Messers E-Customs HC Project Limited as a concessionaire for the delivery of customs modernization project.  

“This is a project that will not have an immediate cost to the government, the investors are providing all of the financings and this revenue will be deployed in three phases and they will look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.  

“The key point is that it is not costing the federal government one thing, the 3.1 billion dollars being proposed will be sourced by the sponsors and the partners,’’  

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