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Disagreement stalling Customs automation project – Minister

The Federal Government says the $3.1bn contract for the ‘complete’ automation of the Nigerian Customs Service, approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2020, has been upturned.

This, it said, was due to disagreements between parties that made up the consortium.

It said the disagreements defied the Federal Government intervention—through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The e-customs project, approved by the Council in September 2020 and awarded to Messrs E. Customs HC Project Limited, would run for 36 months.

Addressing State House correspondents shortly after the FEC meeting where the project was approved, the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed 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 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.”

According to Ahmed, the sponsors of the project “will in return look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.”

She added that “…this investment of $3.1bn is broken down into capital investment of $1.2m which will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.1m is our projection of the operational cost over the 20 years of the implementation of this project.

“This project has the potential to yield up to $176bn 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.”

 

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