Customs to generate $176b in 20 years from e-project, says Hameed Ali

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

  • Navy hands over 252 bags of rice, 24 drums of PMS to NCS, NSCDC

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has disclosed that it will generate $176 billion revenue in the next 20 years through the implementation of the e-Customs project.

Comptroller-General of Customs retired Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), stated this in Abuja during the signing of the e-Customs concession agreement between the NCS, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and China’s Huawei Technologies Limited.

Ali said the e-Customs concession project would ease the cost of doing business, boost revenue, enhance productivity and stop all arbitrariness in the service.

He said: “The $3.2 billion e-Customs projects to be financed by the AFC and managed by Huawei Technologies Limited under a 20-year concession window, when fully implemented, will quadruple the Customs’ current N210 billion monthly revenue collection.

“We will be making $176 billion within the next 20 years. I appreciate our partner, Huawei Technologies Limited. We had to go to China a couple of times and today we are going to be fully digitised. I thank the AFC for financing this project on behalf of Nigeria.

“The success of this project will be on the global map. We are going to hit the ground running. The journey has been long and torturous, but we’ve eventually signed the dotted lines. I appreciate the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for the commitment to the success of seeing the project.”

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Acting Director-General of ICRC, Michael Ohiani, described the project as revolutionary and that it would bring digital smart processes and procedures to customs operations, adding: “This is a migration from analogue to digital. We urge the concessionaire to stick to the rules of engagement, as we will be monitoring the project every step of the way.”

Also, representative of Huawei Technologies Limited, Kelvin Yang, said the company would ensure that the aim of the concession agreement was achieved, promising to make it a world standard project.

Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory (NNSV) handed over 252 bags of smuggled imported rice to the NCS in Calabar, Cross River State.

Base Operations Officer of NNSV, Lt. Commander Clement Ayogu, who handed over the rice to the NCS at the Navy jetty, said the operation was carried out on April 16, 2022.

Ayogu said the handover was done on behalf of the Commander of NNSV, Commodore Ifeanyi Okpala, as directed by the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Ibrahim Dewu.

He said that the bags of rice worth over N9 million were intercepted off the Calabar Fairway buoy along the Enugu creeks.

“On sighting our gunboat, the perpetrators ran away. After a thorough investigation of the matter, we are handing over the 252 bags of rice to the Nigeria Customs Service.

“The Nigeria Customs Service has the prosecuting right for these items, that’s why we are handing over the items to them. The perpetrators of the illegal activities are warned to desist from such activities because the Nigerian Navy is ready to arrest them any time,” he said.

Deputy Comptroller of NCS, Mustapha Kaliel, who received the items, commended them for always sanitising the maritime environment from all illegal acts, just as Dewu handed over 24 drums of suspected adulterated fuel containing over 2,700 litres.

He said the product was intercepted on April 16, 2022, by the NNSV officers at Enugu Creek, adding that the perpetrators ran away after sighting the Navy’s gunboat approaching them.

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