AFC boosts customs operations turnaround with $450m

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As part of its commitment to ensure the full automation of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) operations within 12 months, African Finance Corporation is set to invest $450 million.

Managing Director of Bionica Technologies W.A Ltd, Umar Kuta, disclosed this to the House of Representatives joint committee on Finance, Customs and Public Petitions, which is looking into project. According to Kuta the platform would improve revenue generation by the NCS and enhance security at the nation’s borders. It would be recalled that the e-Custom Strategic Plan began in 2016, with 94 companies responding to a bid request by the NCS. 15 companies were pre-qualified and all were invited to make presentations on their solutions to enable Nigeria realise its vision of attaining complete automation and enthroning best practices in Customs operations.

Kuta said the firm has five technical partners, Paramout Group, Huawei Technology, Smiths Detection, Larsen & Toubro Group and Nuctech of China, adding that the partners are mobilising about $450 million in investment to attain the complete turn-around programme. According to him, the consortium is to partner NCS by direct capital investment in collaboration with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to develop and implement specific modernization programs, with full automation of all the NCS business processes and procedures through the development and implementation of a robust and secured ICT platform.

He stated that this entails complete systems integration with the current ICT platform, adding that the partnership will engender development and implementation of modern customs border stations, airports and marine posts, adding that the marine posts would be utilized to develop the marine customs outfit.

Kuta further said that Bionica’s direct capital investment through the proposed PPP, guarantees that NCS modernization program will be professionally executed, adding that the implementation of the proposed projects, will ensure that all collectable revenues will be optimised and accounted for in-line with the TSA policy of the Federal Government.

The Guardian

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