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FEC approves $3.1 billion for ‘automation of Nigeria’s customs service’

The project, expected to last for 36 months, is to enhance the agency’s mode of operation using the application of information and technology in all aspects of its administration.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, approved $3.1 billion for the ‘complete’ automation of the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS).

“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and to institutionalize the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhanced the statutory function of the Nigerian Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security,” the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told journalists shortly after the meeting in Abuja.

Read more: Customs endorses promotion of 2,634 officers

Ms Ahmed said the project, to be delivered by Messrs E. Customs HC Project Limited, will be financed by sponsors “who will in return look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years” while it has the potentials to generate up to $176 billion for the country.

“So this investment of $3.1 billion is broken down into capital investment of $1.2 million which will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.1 million is our projection of the operational cost over the 20-year period of the implementation of this project.

“This project has the potential to yield up to $176 billion of revenue for the project and the consortia that are providing this investment are going to be paid over time according to the schedule that is negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost,” she added.

In her remarks to the journalists on potentials of the project to the economy, Ms Ahmed expressed her desire to see the non-oil sector, among which is NCS, overtake the oil sector in the years to come in terms of revenue.

The NCS was summoned in June by the Senate over non-remittance of the surplus from its revenue every year by the agency.

Despite coronavirus, the agency recently disclosed it generated N573 billion between January and May as revenue. It projected N957 billion for the year.

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