FEC Approves $3.1bn For Automation Of Nigeria Customs

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $3.1 billion for the end to end automation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). 

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this at the end of the FEC virtual meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to her, the concessionary period is 20 years and the funding is solely from investors with the revenue expected from this automation pegged at $176bn.

“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the Customs business and to institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory functions of the Nigeria 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 $3.1 billion and the consortium, the PPP that has been approved is led by Messrs Huawei technologies with four other members.

The Finance Minister gave a breakdown of the project funding, and stated that the investors will be paid overtime according to a schedule that will be negotiated with the Federal Government.

“This investment of $3.1 billion is broken down into capital investment of $1.2 million that will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.8 million 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 $176 billion of revenue from the project and the consortium that are providing these investments are going to be paid overtime according to the schedule that will be negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost of funds,” she added.

Mrs Ahmed also revealed that FEC  approved the upgrade of safe towers in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt airports.

The minister added that the analog systems in the airports will be upgraded to digital just as weather reports will now be transmitted instantly as against the current hourly practice.

The airport upgrade is to cost N13.122 billion.

During the meeting, FEC also reiterated the need for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to consult the Federal Government-owned Galaxy Backbone Limited before budgeting and all payments should go to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

Council noted that all federal institutions have equally been assessed to see what Information Communication Technology (ICT) upgrades are needed.

The identified upgrades are to commence immediately, the Council said.

To aid the fight against drug abuse, FEC gave a nod to the purchase of a property at the Aviation Village, Abuja.

The building which will serve as accommodation for officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was formerly owned by Chachangi Airlines and was bought for N1.196bn with a delivery period of four weeks.

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