The Federal Government of Nigeria has set a target to generate $200 billion in revenue from the modernization project of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), according to an announcement made by the concessionaire responsible for the project on Thursday. Speaking at the launch of the Project Management Office in Abuja, Saleh Ahmadu, Chairman of Trade Modernisation Project Limited, the concessionaire, revealed that a total of $3.2 billion will be invested in the project.
Under a public-private partnership arrangement, the NCS has partnered with Trade Modernisation Project Limited to implement state-of-the-art technology for the full automation of NCS processes, aligning them with global standards. The modernisation project aims to enhance efficiency in the NCS’ service delivery.
As part of the concession agreement, Trade Modernisation Project Limited will invest $3.2 billion over a 20-year period, resulting in over $200 billion in revenue for the Federal Government. The financing for the initial phase, totaling $300 million, has been secured along with a $9 million performance bond backed by cash in favor of the NCS.
A significant portion of the investment will be dedicated to capacity building within the NCS, ensuring business continuity, and managing associated project risks. The retrofit of the Project Management Office is among the initial investments.
Saleh Ahmadu emphasized that with increasing complexities in trade, the modernisation project will equip the NCS with advanced technological tools and platforms necessary for trade harmonization.
The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), stated that the project was initiated due to the pressing need for improved infrastructure and the recognition of the importance of becoming a data-driven organization to enhance service delivery. He highlighted the significance of digitalization in driving efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness within the NCS. The project, originally proposed by the NCS, became a presidential initiative that is expected to bring about transformative reforms, restructuring, and revenue generation.
In addition to revenue generation, the modernization project includes various deliverables. One such deliverable is a cargo release system that will provide physical infrastructure to facilitate the automated release of cargo after obtaining clearance. There is also an electronic cargo tracking system that enables the NCS to monitor all cargo passing through the country, including cargo marked for re-export and excise cargo for manufacturing purposes. The tracking system will utilize electronic seals for effective monitoring.
By leveraging technology effectively, the NCS aims to adapt to evolving market dynamics in trade, optimize operations, and unlock new revenue streams, ultimately contributing to economic growth and the well-being of Nigerian citizens, according to Ali.
The Nigeria Customs Service Modernisation Project represents a significant step towards modernizing and streamlining customs processes in Nigeria, fostering efficiency, and positioning the country as a competitive player in the global trade landscape.