According to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Nigerian Customs modernisation project, which is driven by a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), is capable of producing about $176 billion for the Federal Government in 20 years.
Michael Ohiani, the Commission’s Acting Director-General, revealed this at the signing ceremony for the concession deal in Abuja.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Trade Modernisation Project Limited signed a concession deal, with Huawei Technologies as the technical partner and Africa Finance Corporation as the primary financiers, all under the ICRC’s regulatory oversight.
The project, which is a Presidential initiative on Customs modernization, will draw an investment of about $3.2 billion, according to the DG ICRC.
“Having successfully completed all PPP processes and obtained the ICRC’s Full Business Case Compliance (FBC), the Federal Executive Council’s approval, and the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation’s final vetting of the concession agreement, the parties are now ready to execute the agreement and begin project implementation.”
“I urge the Concessionaire to guarantee that the conditions of the agreement are fully implemented in a credible manner and in accordance with global best practices,” he said.
Col. Hameed Ali, the NCS Comptroller General, praised the ICRC for being committed to the project’s implementation.
He assuaged fears that implementing a modernized and computerized service would result in job losses, emphasizing that the NSC would need an additional 15,000 employees to operate optimally.
“Let me applaud the International Committee of the Red Cross; without their perseverance and determination, we would not be celebrating this project today.” We owe you a debt of gratitude, and your name is engraved in gold.
“We are pleased to announce that Nigeria will be entirely digitized and upgraded. We are establishing an example for all African countries to follow. There have been rumors that this project will weed out cops; nonetheless, I can assure you that we are in desperate need of officers. We only have roughly 15,000 people, and according to the management mission, we need at least 30,000 to adequately carry out the mandate,” he stated.
The CG also hinted that the proposal will treble the Service’s monthly revenue.
“As of currently, we are collecting between N210 billion and N225 billion each month,” he said. We expect to triple, if not quadruple, this amount by the time we implement trade modernization,” he stated.
He expressed optimism that the NSC would soon ask President Muhammadu Buhari to officially launch the initiative, and he urged all stakeholders, including Service personnel, project partners, and the media, to lend their support.
“I simply want to express our promise that we will make sure that all of the deliverables to the facility, process automation, and paperless customs are met,” said Kevin Yang, a Huawei Technologies spokesperson. We’ll make certain that this is a world-class project.”