FEC Approves $3.1 Billion For ‘Automation Of Nigeria’s Customs Service’

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, agreed to doll out the sum of $3.1 billion for the ‘complete’ automation of the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS).

The Meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, as his Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and other top executive members at the Aso Rock in Abuja.

The project, expected to last for 36 months, is to enhance the agency’s mode of operation using the application of information and technology in all aspects of its administration.

“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,” the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told journalists shortly after the meeting in Abuja.

Ms Ahmed said the project, to be delivered by Messrs E. Customs HC Project Limited, will be financed by sponsors “who will in return look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years” while it has the potentials to generate up to $176 billion for the country.

“This project has the potential to yield up to $176 billion 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,” she added.

In her remarks to the journalists on potentials of the project to the economy, Ms Ahmed expressed her desire to see the non-oil sector, among which is NCS, overtake the oil sector in the years to come in terms of revenue.