The Federal Government has announced that the $3.1 billion contracts for the ‘full’ automation of the Nigerian Customs Service, which the Federal Executive Council approved in 2020, have been cancelled.
It claimed this was due to conflicts among the consortium’s members.
The conflicts, it added, defied intervention by the Federal Government—through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The 36-month e-customs project was approved by the Council in September 2020 and granted to Messrs E. Customs HC Project Limited.
Addressing State House correspondents shortly after the FEC meeting where the project was approved, the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, said, “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 enhance the statutory function of the Nigerian Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security.”
According to Ahmed, the project’s sponsors will in return look over the investment in the concessionary period of 20 years.
She added that “This investment of $3.1bn is broken down into capital investment of $1.2m which will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.1m is our projection of the operational cost over the 20 years of the implementation of this project.
“This project has the potential to yield up to $176bn 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.”