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Trade Modernisation: Customs Targets $200bn Revenue

The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has set a revenue generation target of $200 billion for the next 20 years in its trade modernisation project, under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The Project Management Office of the deal was inaugurated in Abuja on Thursday, in partnership with Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, with a mandate to deliver the best-in-class technology for full automation of NCS processes and align with its peers around the world

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The Chairman of the TMP Ltd, Saleh Ahmadu, disclosed that under the terms of the Concession Agreement, TMP will invest a total of US$3.2 billion over a 20-year period, which will generate more than US$200 billion in revenue for the Federal Government.

“The financing for the first phase of the project, in the sum of US$300 million, together with a cash backed US$9 million Performance Bond in favour of the NCS, have been secured through our financial partners”, he said.

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Customs CG, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) commissioning the management office of the trade modernisation project.

Ahmadu explained further that a substantial part of the investment would go towards building the capacity of the NCS, ensuring business continuity, and managing the associated project risks.

The chairman added that the project would be delivered through key components including: Unified Customs Management System (UCMS); Trade Portal – a central hub of all trading activities that keys into the UCMS and would provide the integration modules for Other Government Agencies (OGA).

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He said that the trade hub would further simplify how the public obtains import and export licenses and other non- NCS related certification that enhances the import and export decision capacity of the NCS.

Ahmadu noted that another component: a Non-Intrusive System that integrates 67 cargo scanners of various types and capacities at sea ports, airports and land borders would be installed.

“The system will provide anonymity in cargo scanning, coordinated release decisions and seamless post-clearance audit to ensure optimal performance of inspection image analysts”.

Other components of the project would include: Electronic Cargo Tracking System; Cargo Release System; Enforcement system; Telecommunication, Video Surveillance and connectivity; as well as, Border management which would entail monitoring of border traffic and providing tactical support for border patrol teams, as well as, border traffic intelligence.

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In his remarks, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) said that the TMP was an answer to the pressing need for better infrastructure and the importance of becoming a data-driven organization to enhance service delivery.

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The Customs boss stated that his administration chose to embark on the TMP initiative because it understood the significance of digitalisation in driving efficiency, transparency and effectiveness.

He said: “The Project, though initiated by NCS, became a Presidential Initiative and its deliverables I believe will have a transformative impact on reform, restructuring, and revenue generation across NCS.

“By leveraging technology effectively, NCS can adapt to changing market dynamics in trade, optimize our operations, and unlock new revenue streams thereby contributing to economic growth and wellbeing of our citizens”.

On her part, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of ICT/Modernisation, ACG Kikelomo Adeola, appreciated the efforts of the CGC for establishing the project which according to her, will remodel, digitise and modernise the activities of the Service.

“The Service has been involved in an arithmetic progression, but now, the Management, through the help of the Federal Government, has decided to revolutionize the NCS into geometric progression.”

“I welcome you to this auspicious event, where you will witness the beginning of the era of refiguring and modernizing the Service with international norms and culture to put it where it belongs as the giant of Africa”.

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Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email: ismail.aniemu@aol.com

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