Customs to get $450m facelift from AFC

Border closure: Customs now rakes in N5.8bn a day — Ali
Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.


The African Finance Corporation is set to invest $450 million in the automation of the operations of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for its turnaround within 12 months.

The Managing Director of Bionica Technologies W.A Ltd, Umar Kuta, who disclosed this on Thursday before the House of Representatives joint committee on Finance, Customs and Public Petitions, which is looking into project.

Kuta said the platform would improve revenue generation by the NCS and enhance security at the nation’s borders.

He said, “a complete automation of the activities of the NCS within twelve months will boost revenue and eliminate all forms of sharp practices in the system.

It would be recalled that the e-custom Strategic Plan began in 2016. 94 companies responded to a bid request by the NCS. Fifteen companies were pre-qualified and all were invited to make presentations on their solutions to enable Nigeria realise its vision of attaining complete automation and enthroning best practices in Customs operations.

Kuta said the firm has five technical partners, namely Paramout Group, Huawei Technology, Smiths Detection, Larsen & Toubro Group and Nuctech of China adding that the partners are mobilising about $450 million in investment to attain the complete turn-around programme.

He also informed the committee that the Africa Finance Corporation has also indicated its interest in supporting the Customs automation programme.

According to him, the consortium is to partner NCS by direct capital investment in collaboration with Original Equipment Manufacturers to develop and implement specific modernization programs, with full automation of all the NCS business processes and procedures through the development and implementation of a robust and secured ICT platform.

He said this entails complete systems integration with the current ICT platform adding that the partnership will engender development and implementation of modern customs border stations, airports and marine posts, adding that the marine posts would be utilized to develop the marine customs outfit.

Kuta further said that Bionica’s direct capital investment through the proposed ppp, guarantees that NCS modernization program will be professionally executed adding thatthe implementation of Bionica’s proposed projects, will ensure that all collectable revenues will be optimised and accounted  for in-line with the Treasury Single Account policy of the Federal Government.

Earlier, the joint committee headed by James Faleke, had directed the NCS to provide details on the proposed e-Customs project and the cost implication to government. 

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