The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday ratified the President’s anticipatory approval for the contract for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) modernization at the cost of $3.1 billion.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed presented the memo intended to enable the complete automation of the NCS processes and procedures using the application and information and technology in all aspects of Customs administration.
Addressing State House correspondents after the council meeting, the Minister revealed that the project was awarded in favour of a firm, E. Customs HC Projects Nigeria Limited for a concessionary period of N20 years.
She explained: “The main objective of the project is to completely automate every aspect of the customs business and to institutionalize the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory function of the Nigerian Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security.”
She said the consortium, the PPP group approved for the project are led by Messers Y Technologies with four other members.
Ahmed noted: “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 it’s led the 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 (AFC) as the lead financier and Huawei Technology as a technical service provider.
“So, the council today 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.
“This is a project that will not have an immediate cost to the government, the investors are providing all of the financings and this revenue will be deployed in three phases and they will look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.
“The key point is that it is not costing the federal government one thing, the $3.1 billion being proposed will be sourced by the sponsors and the partners.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in his remark, also emphasized that the federal government will not pay anything for the project.