The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of $3.1 billion for the full automation of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of this week’s virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Minister, when fully implemented, the proposed scheme would institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technology in all activities of the Nigeria Customs Service.
She said: “Today in Council, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a memo, which was a request for the ratification of the President’s anticipatory approval for the contract fo4r the Customs modernisation project.
“The purpose of the memo that we presented was for a project that will enable the complete automation of the Nigeria Customs Service, processes and procedures, using the application of information and technology in all aspects of customs administration in favour of a firm, for a concessionary period of 20 years.
“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and to institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory function of the Nigeria Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security.
“The total cost of the project is in the sum of $3.1 billion and a consortium consisting of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) group will execute the project. So, Council today ratified the President’s approval for the PPP, a concession of 20 years for the delivery of the customs modernisation project.”
The Finance Minister further explained that the new e-Customs project is a component of the National Trading Platform process that has been in existence for years.
“The committee that led this process, also looked at the National Trading Platform process that has been going on for years and confirmed that the Nigeria e-Customs project is a sub-sect of the National Trading Platform and in fact it prepares the Nigeria Customs Service to play its lead role in the National Trading Platform,” she said.
Ahmed also said the investors are providing all the funds needed for the project therefore, it will not be of an immediate cost to the government, adding that the investors will recover their investments over the concessionary period of 20 years.
Source: Voice of Nigeria