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FEC Okays $3.1bn For Customs’ Automation, N13bn For Airports

The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved $3.1bn for complete automation of processes and procedures in the administration of the Nigerian Customs Service.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to State House reporters after the FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ahmed said the Customs modernization project was a public-private partnership arrangement with the concessionary period of 20 years.

She said the automation would guarantee the use of information and technology in all aspects of Customs’ administration.

She said: “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’ll enhance the statutory function of the Nigerian 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 $3.1bn.

“The consortium, the PPP group, that have been approved, are led by Messers Y Technologies with four other members.

“The committee that led this process also looked at the National Trade Impact process that has been going on for years and confirmed that the Nigerian e-customs project is a subset of the National Trade Impact and would prefer the Nigerian Customs to play its led role in the national trading platform.

“The Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited, Bargain Securities and Supplies Nigeria Limited, these are lead sponsor and co-sponsor.

“We also have The Africa Finance Corporation as the lead financier and Huawei Technology as a technical service provider.

“So, council 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.

“The key point is that it’s not costing the federal government one thing, the $3.1bn being proposed will be sourced by the sponsors and the partners.”

“So, this investment of $3.1bn is broken down into capital investment of $1.2bn which will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.1bn 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 $176bn of revenue for the project and the consortia providing this investment are going to be paid overtime according to the schedule negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost.”

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the FEC approved N13.122bn for a contract for the upgrade and refurbishment of the safe tower equipment at Lagos, Kano,  Abuja, and Port Harcourt International Airports.

“This is just to increase the efficiency of the airports and reduce the workload in the control tower and to automate what was hitherto analog systems to digital.

“This is in two parts. The first component which is a foreign component is €28,489,565.

“The naira component is N3.491,504,488.31. Of course, there’ll be 7.5% added VAT. It’ll be for a completion period of 12 months,” Sirika said.

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