FG eyes $200bn revenue from Customs modernisation project

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Nigeria customs service logoThe Federal Government is to generate $200bn revenue from the modernisation project of the Nigeria Customs Service, the concessionaire in charge of the project, announced on Thursday.

Speaking at the flag-off of the Project Management Office of the Nigeria Customs Service Modernisation Project in Abuja, the Chairman, Trade Modernisation Project Limited, concessionaire of the facility, Saleh Ahmadu, said a total of $3.2bn would be invested in the project.

He said, “The NCS has partnered with Trade Modernisation Project Limited, under a public-private partnership arrangement, to deliver the best-in-class technology for full automation of NCS processes to align with its peers around the world. The project would result in efficiency in NCS’ service delivery.

“Under the terms of the concession agreement, TMP will invest a total of $3.2bn over a 20-year period, which will generate more than $200bn in revenue for the Federal Government. The financing for the first phase of the project, in the sum of $300m, together with a cash backed $9m performance bond in favour of the NCS, have been secured through our financial partners.

“A substantial part of this investment will go towards building the capacity of the NCS, ensuring business continuity, and managing the associated project risks. The retrofit of the Project Management Office is part of this initial investment.”

Ahmadu explained that as trade becomes increasingly complicated, the project would equip the NCS with the necessary technological tools and platforms to drive trade harmonisation.

The Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), said the project was undertaken because the service recognised the pressing need for better infrastructure and the importance of becoming a data-driven organisation to enhance its service delivery.

“We understood the significance of digitalisation in driving efficiency, transparency and effectiveness. With this in mind, we wrote to former President Muhammadu Buhari, outlining the imperative to modernise the NCS.

“The project, though initiated by NCS, became a presidential initiative and its deliverables I believe will have a transformative impact on reform, restructuring, and revenue generation across NCS.

“By leveraging technology effectively, NCS can adapt to changing market dynamics in trade, optimise our operations, and unlock new revenue streams thereby contributing to economic growth and wellbeing of our citizens,” Ali stated.

On other deliverables of the project, the concessionaire said it came with a cargo release system that would provide physical infrastructure to manage the automated release of cargo once clearance had been obtained.

“There is also the electronic cargo tracking system that allows the NCS to track all cargo transiting through the country.

“It covers cargo marked for re-export, either through other land borders or through Free Trade Zones, as well as excise cargo for manufacturing purposes. Cargo will be monitored through electronic seals,” Ahmadu stated.

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