Phase 1 of Customs’ $3.2 Billion Trade Modernisation Project Nears Launch

•To generate $250bn for FG within 20 years 

•Positions service for 22nd century challenges, opportunities

James Emejo in Abuja

The first phase of the Nigeria Customs Service’s $3.2 billion Trade Modernisation Project (TMP), aimed at automating and simplifying its mandatory as well as enhancing revenues will soon be inaugurated, the service said yesterday.

The project which has been concessioned to TMP Limited for 20 year will generate over $250 billion for the federal government within the period.

On assumption of office, the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Mr. Wale Adeniyi, had made trade facilitation as a key priority to simplify trade processes for all stakeholders.

Phase one of the project covers years one to six where all systems must be deployed including – hardware, software, and technology services.

Phase two covers years seven to 13 where the concessionaire continues to manage, maintain and replace components as needed.

The third phase – 14 to 20 years  remains a significant phase where TMP will take a back seat while customs officers would take charge after a six years of hands-on training in implementation.

 Providing update to journalists after a tour of the facilities,  particularly the software design and development,

Chief Superintendent of Customs, National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, said the trade modernisation project will aid trade facilitation, efficiency in customs delivery which remains the essence of trade modernisation.

He told THISDAY, “It is just about simplification, standardisation, harmonisation and automation of processes and procedure.

“It is part of our efforts to ensure that we facilitate trade and effectively collect revenue for the federal government and enforce fiscal policies of government in terms of anti-smuggling and other responsibilities.”

Specifically, he said under the Unified Customs Management System, the service would be able to scan 200 containers within an hour, adding that this would significantly aid the decongestion of the the nation”s ports.

General Manager, Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, Mr. Ahmed Ogunsola

said as the concessionaire, TMP continues to work closely with the NCS, adding that the project commenced in 2022 and “we continue to work closely to deliver on the project”.

He said, “We are currently in the phase one of the project and we would move to phases two and three at the appropriate time.

“We have made significant progress with respect to the deliverables of the project. We are jointly developing and we will jointly deploy a new customs management system in additional to many other areas.

“We have carried the customs along in jointly designing and developing these solutions, and there is 100 per cent knowledge transfer in everything that we are doing.”

Ogunsola said Customs would continue to perform all its activities and operations –adding that none of those responsibilities had been concessioned to anyone, and “they will continue to man all their stations”.

He said, “All we are doing is that we are providing systems and platforms as well as services that enhance those functions and activities.

“We believe that by the end of the project, NCS will be a pride among its peers. The project builds on the successes the NCS has had over many decades and this is what will bring the NCS into the 22nd century to ensure that it earns its place of pride among customs administrations around the world.

“We are building the foundations for changes in terms of deploying new technology advancements in terms of how Customs service’s work.”

Head, Business Processes, NCS, CSC Usman Abbah, also said the Unified Customs Management System would increase productivity and boost revenues.

He said the systems are protected by seven layers of security, and aided by 40 servers.

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